The Copperas Cove Lady Bulldawgs begin postseason action in a best-of-three series tonight at 7:30 against Mansfield Timberview at the Waco ISD Sports Complex.
“You can see it in all my teammates’ eyes just how bad we want this,” said Cove catcher Angel Mullen. “From the beginning of the season, we had this mindset that we’d shock the world because softball is not really seen as a bigger sport here.
“Well, we want softball to be seen, heard and noticed.”
If you’re a follower of Copperas Cove athletics, then you’ve seen, noticed and heard Angel Mullen.
In basketball, she runs the court at 200 mph, perpetually peps up her teammates, repeatedly makes mesmerizing, did-you-see-that type of passes, plays in-your-face defense and hits long-range clutch shots.
On the diamond, Mullen bats second in the Cove lineup due to her outstanding ability at hitting, and her knack for causing havoc on the base paths.
Mullen started this season playing in the outfield. But when the Lady Dawgs starting catcher moved out of town halfway through district play, Cove head coach Bryan Waller had a major decision to make.
Who would play catcher?
He asked Mullen. Her reply was swift: Yes, sir.
“Angel brings the fire to the backstop that we need,” Waller said. “She keeps everybody fired up, and she’s doing a great job.”
“I played catcher once in travel ball and once on JV,” said Mullen, a junior. “It is different than outfield because it’s a lot more pressure. There are a lot more signs to give, and a lot more communication responsibilities. In the outfield, it was just me and two other teammates. As a catcher, it’s you, your pitcher and the entire infield.
“But the whole infield immediately gave me support. It made the transition a whole lot easier.”
There are plenty of techniques to learn as a catcher, and Mullen has mastered some of those already.
“But I’d still like to learn more techniques,” she said.
For now, Mullen is content using one of her biggest strengths as an athlete—her attitude—to help guide her at backstop.
“My thought process at catcher is ‘I’m just gonna risk my body to stop that ball from getting past me, no matter what,’ ” she said.
The strength of Mansfield is their pitching.
“They have a young, very talented pitcher,” Mullen said.
“But if we stay together, hit the ball, keep it in play, make them make a mistake, we’ll be just fine. We have speed and power hitters.
“We’ve been practicing so hard. We’re working hard at everything. We’re ready for these playoffs. We’re ready to go.”