CONIFER — D’Evelyn softball closed out its regular season in style Sept. 30. The Jaguars — No. 2 seed for the in the Class 4A state tournament — jumped out to an early double-digit lead on …
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CONIFER — D’Evelyn softball closed out its regular season in style Sept. 30.
The Jaguars — No. 2 seed for the in the Class 4A state tournament — jumped out to an early double-digit lead on the road against No. 8-seeded Conifer.
“We knew how good Conifer is and how good Cheyenne is,” D’Evelyn coach Dan Porreco said of facing the Lobos and their junior ace Cheyenne Prieto, who sported a 1.68 ERA heading into the game. “That first inning kind of set the tone. I think it shocked them a little bit.”
D’Evelyn (15-1, 7-1 in 4A Jeffco League) put up four runs in the top of the first inning and eventually finished with an 11-4 victory in the Jaguars’ conference finale.
Freshman Peyton Marvel set the table reaching on a bunt single to start the game. Junior Avery Garbarek drove in Marvel with an RBI single and senior Savannah Robberson added a 2-run single later in the inning.
“She (Prieto) is a great pitcher,” said Garbarek, who went 2-for-4 from the plate with 3 RBIs and a 2-run home run in the fourth inning. “I just told my team to get contact. See ball. Hit ball. We all contributed with the little things.”
Marvel scored again in the top of the second inning after a single. The freshman reached base four of her five at-bats, scoring three times.
“It’s really big. It’s my first year and I really want to win,” said Marvel, who in following in the footsteps of her two older sisters that played softball for the Jaguars.
D’Evelyn stretched its lead to 10-0 through four innings with a 5-run fourth inning. Senior Eve Dalla had a 2-run double before Garbarek belted her 2-run home run. The Jaguars managed 14 hits off Prieto.
“We faced Izzy (Chatfield pitcher Izzy DiNapoli) and she was probably a little faster,” Marvel said. “I feel like we are better against faster pitchers.”
Garbarek pitched four shutout innings for the Jaguars, but the junior did have her struggles at times. She struck out 11 batters, but also walked nine.
“We were not at ease the whole game because of the walks,” Porreco said. “We left her in there. She (Garbarek) gutted it out and got it done.”
Conifer got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth inning with a 2-run home run by sophomore Regan Pell. Prieto crushed a 2-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to make it an 11-4 final.
“It was frustrating,” Garbarek said of the walks. “I just had to adjust. I feel like I figured it out in the end.”
Conifer (13-3, 6-2) concluded its regular season with a big conference win. The Lobos defeated Bear Creek in extra innings which would actually knock Bear Creek (12-4, 6-2) out of the 16-team state tournament field.
Jeffco League champion Wheat Ridge (15-1, 7-1) grabbed the No. 1 seed for the state tournament. The Farmers could host league rival Conifer in the second round on Thursday, Oct. 8. D’Evelyn was awarded the No. 2 seed where the Jaguars were scheduled to host No. 15 Air Academy on either Oct. 6 or 7.
CHSAA did make a significant announcement concerning softball last week. First, rosters were expanded from 12 to 15 immediately due to a variance granted by the Governor’s COVID Response Team.
Also, there was a change in the state tournament format that includes first-round (Oct. 6 or Oct. 7) and quarterfinal (Oct. 8) games being hosted by the higher seed. Semifinals and finals will be played Saturday, Oct. 10, at the Aurora Sports Complex.
“I’m so glad. I really like it,” Porreco said of the changes in the state tournament that originally was set as a one-day state tournament with the winner having to win four games in one day. “These great athletes can’t play four games in one day. It’s nice.”
Dennis Pleuss is the Sports Information Director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more coverage go to CHSAANow.com/Jeffco.
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