LAKEWOOD — Chatfield softball coach Jen Lazzeri is handing out bubble gum like it is going out of style this season.
“Anytime they get to third base,” Lazzeri said of the new Charger tradition this season. “I passed out a lot of gum today. We are just having a lot of fun together.”
On Tuesday afternoon, Chatfield improved to 11-0, cruising to a 13-1 victory in four innings on the road against Green Mountain (6-1 record).
Chatfield was unranked in the Class 5A CHSAANow.com preseason poll. However, after a 10-0 start to the season the Chargers grabbed the No. 1 slot in the rankings that were released Monday.
The Rams actually entered the 4A rankings this week at No. 10 after a strong start.
“I knew we had talent. They are kind of bringing it all together,” Lazzeri said after the Chargers pounded out 15 hits in just four innings against the Rams. “They are playing with confidence. They have great connectivity which is something you really can’t coach. Talking about them I get goosebumps. It’s something special.”
Sophomores Kailey Horton and Abby Washco provided the pop from the plate early on for the Chargers. Horton belted a two-run home run in the top of the first inning. Washco ripped a solo home run in the second inning to give Chatfield a 4-0 lead.
“It felt really good,” Washco said of her solo home run to leadoff the second inning. “I haven’t been hitting that well, but as soon as I hit that one I knew it was gone.”
Chatfield took an 11-0 lead thanks to a seven-run top of the third inning. The Chargers peppered Green Mountain starting pitcher Mattigan Aga for five singles and a double by junior Courtney Bidwell capped off Chatfield sending 11 batters to the plate.
The Rams also committed a trio of errors that added the Chargers in extending their lead to double-digits.
“That was a little unusual for us,” Green Mountain coach Mitchell Behm said of the three-error third inning. “We’ve been fielding pretty clean. The girls were nervous before the game and that showed up on our fielding in the game for sure.”
Chatfield showed its depth in the final inning. Lazzeri had four straight players off the bench hit in the fourth inning. Three of the four had singles as the Chargers added a pair of runs.
“We are all hitting the ball,” Lazzeri said after the Chargers scored double-digit runs for the fifth time already this season. “We don’t have a weak spot right now.”
Junior Isabelle DiNapoli picked up the win in the circle for the Chargers. The only batter DiNapoli couldn’t get out was Green Mountain’s Jordan Elmer. The senior went 2-for-2 from the plate, including an RBI double to score the Rams’ lone run in the bottom of the fourth inning.
“I have a lot of confidence because we are scoring so many runs,” said DiNapoli, who has an ERA under 1.00 this season.
Chatfield continues on the road this week with games at Denver East (Wednesday) and Cherry Creek (Friday). The Chargers have home games against Wheat Ridge and Regis Jesuit next week before starting 5A Jeffco League play.
“I don’t know if we are surprised about doing well, being undefeated is probably something we are surprised about,” Washco said.
Green Mountain will try to regroup with home games later this week against Conifer (Thursday) and Faith Christian (Friday).
“I told the girls after the game that this is probably the best thing that could have happened to us because what is ahead of us,” Behm said of the Rams’ first loss of the season.
Behm does believe the Rams can make some noise in the tough 4A Jeffco League that features No. 3 Golden and No. 4 Wheat Ridge.
“I think we have a great chance at it,” Behm said of Green Mountain breaking into the top-tier of team in 4A Jeffco. “We are playing with a lot of heart right now and I think this team likes being the underdog.”