DENVER — After a season-opening loss to Wheat Ridge last week, Chatfield’s softball team has turned things around quickly the past four days.
The Chargers (4-1 overall) grabbed three victories in two days during the South Jeffco Icebreaker Tournament on Aug. 17 and 18. They continued the hot streak Monday with a dominating 11-0 road victory against D’Evelyn.
“It feels great. I’m excited for the season,” Chatfield senior co-captain Taylor Wittwer said of the four-game winning streak. “We are feeling more united and the work ethic this year is definitely stronger.”
Wittwer led the Chargers’ offense going 3-for-5 with 3 RBIs. Chatfield took control early with a four-run top of the second inning off D’Evelyn starting freshman pitcher Avery Garbarek. All the damage was done with two outs.
Sophomore Courtney Bidwell walked with the bases loaded to score the first run. Wittwer tacked on a two-run single and sophomore Madison Shepard had an RBI single to cap off the inning.
“It just makes me more comfortable,” Chatfield sophomore pitcher Izzy DiNapoli said of the Chargers’ offense putting up four runs in the top of the second inning.
Chatfield put the game out of reach with a five-run top of the seventh inning where the Chargers sent nine batters to the plate.
DiNapoli was dominating during her complete-game, two-hit shutout victory in the circle. Garbarek broke up DiNapoli’s no-hit bid in the bottom of the fourth inning with a two-out single, but the sophomore responded with a strike out of senior Katie Fuhr to end the inning.
Sophomore Savannah Robberson ripped a double for the Jaguars (0-2) in the bottom of the sixth inning, but Robberson was doubled off at second when D’Evelyn senior Isabella Porreco lined out to Shepard at shortstop and threw to freshman second baseman Kailey Horton to end the threat.
“Winning games builds so much confidence,” Chatfield coach Jen Lazzeri said. “I think these girls are starting to believe and getting behind Izzy on the mound.”
DiNapoli has a 3-1 pitching record with an ERA under 1.0 this season 25.1 innings pitched.
“It’s crazy how young she (DiNapoli) is and how well she is doing,” Wittwer said. “She is definitely leading this team.”
Lazzeri — second season at the helm of the Chargers’ softball program — has a young squad with just two seniors in Wittwer and Lexi Dunham. However, she likes the chemistry and dynamics of her squad that has been molded by her two seniors.
“Taylor and Lexi have been leaders since the end of our season last year and they were leaders last year,” Lazzeri said. “They have been committed to making this a great season not only for them, but for everybody. I’m really blessed to have both of them as seniors.”
D’Evelyn isn’t off to the start it envisioned. Longtime Jaguars’ coach Dan Porreco admitted his team isn’t where he would like it to be mentally.
“It’s definitely a wake-up call,” Porreco said. “Chatfield played nearly a flawless game. They played great.”
Despite the slow start, the Jaguars should be right in the mix for the Class 4A Jeffco League title after finishing third behind Valor Christian (now playing in 5A Jeffco) and Golden last season.