DENVER — D’Evelyn softball got a serious confidence boost Wednesday.
The Jaguars rallies from deficits of 4-0, 5-2 and 7-5 against Chatfield on D’Evelyn’s home field. D’Evelyn pushed across three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to take its lone lead 8-7 and score a walk-off victory.
“It is so good. I can’t even express how good it is,” D’Evelyn sophomore Syndee Fark said after the dramatic victory over the No. 4-ranked Chargers in this week’s CHSAANow.com Class 5A softball rankings.
A bloop one-out hit by junior Avery Garbarek scored junior Kensley Arbaugh from third base for the walk-off, game-winning hit. The Jaguars scored six runs in the final two innings off Chatfield senior pitcher Izzy DiNapoli.
“It’s a really big win,” D’Evelyn coach Dan Porreco said. “Izzy (DiNapoli) is one of the best. We battled a lot. We did a lot of the little things and didn’t make a lot of mistakes.”
The Jaguars (3-0 record) also took advantage of four errors Chatfield (6-2) committed in the final two innings. It was the second loss of the season for the Chargers.
“It is definitely frustrating, but we have to be better,” Chatfield coach Jen Lazzeri said. “We’ve talked about playing at an intensity level in practices and games which is what we need to get a league and state championship. We’ve talked about what that sounds, looks and feels like. We didn’t have it today.”
Chatfield seniors Courtney Bidwell and Madison Shepard led the Chargers offensively. Bidwell went 3-for-4 with a pair of triples. Shepard was 2-for-4 and a check-swing RBI hit in the top of the seventh inning gave Chatfield a 6-5 lead.
A RBI sacrifice fly by DiNapoli pushed the Chargers’ lead to 7-5 heading in the bottom of the seventh inning.
D’Evelyn quickly answered with senior Eve Dalla walking to lead off the bottom of the seventh. Senior Aubrey Garbarek ripped an RBI double to score Dalla. A dropped fly ball in right field scored the game-tying run setting up Avery Garbarek to knock in the game-winning run.
Fark went 3-for-4 from the plate, including knocking in the Jaguars’ first run in the bottom of the fourth inning. She also picked up the win on the mound.
“I knew we could wake-up the bats,” Fark said of her mindset when she took over the pitching duties from junior Mia Riebe in the middle of the fourth inning with the Jaguars trailing 4-0. “I was a little nervous at first, but I knew I just had to hit my spots and I had my defense behind me.”
D’Evelyn begins its conference play in the 4A Jeffco League on Sept. 8 against Alameda International.
“Now we have to move on,” Porreco said. “We’ve got a tough league and some tough teams ahead.”
Chatfield opens Class 5A Jeffco League play later this week. The Chargers host Ralston Valley at 4:30 pm Friday, Sept. 4.
“I think it is good,” Lazzeri said of the quick turnaround to face Ralston Valley in a conference opener 48 hours after the loss to D’Evelyn. “It’s an awesome group of girls. There were tears in their eyes after this one. They feel the pressure of no regional tournament and just the top 16 teams go to state.”
D’Evelyn not only has the tough 4A Jeffco League head, but also the Dave Sanders Tournament next week that will be played at the Aurora Sports Park, site of the one-day state tournament for Class 5A, 4A and 3A this season.
“It’s hard, but we are fortunate to be out here that is the main thing,” Porreco said of the shortened season. “We have to stay safe and hopefully nobody gets sick. We are fortunate to be out here, which is a great thing.”