LAKEWOOD — Only thing Evergreen sophomore Dillyn Collins might want to work on is her slide into home plate.
“We don’t talk about that,” Collins said laughing about her awkward knee first slide to score during the Cougars’ 3-run third inning late Thursday afternoon at Green Mountain High School.
Collins was elegant with her pitching during a dominating 8-2 road victory for the Cougars. Collins racked up 15 strikeouts during her complete-game win on the hill for Evergreen in the Class 4A Jeffco League opener.
“She (Collins) is really starting to command the circle out there,” Evergreen coach Heather Dose said. “She is really starting to trust her defense too, which is huge. She is letting them work which is very helpful.”
Collins struck out the side three times and ended the game with her 15th and final strikeout. The sophomore was able to keep the Rams off-balance for most of the game and used her curveball effectively.
It was just the second win of the season for the Cougars (2-7 record, 1-0 in league) after a 0-6 start that featured facing several strong 5A Jeffco League programs — Arvada West, Chatfield, Pomona and Ralston Valley.
“We are a young team and we played some tough teams,” Collins said of the Cougars that doesn’t have a single senior on the squad this year. “We have been working really hard for the last month and I think it is really going to pay off.”
While Collins was sharp limiting Green Mountain (4-3, 0-1) from getting much going offensively, the Cougars had just four hits themselves but took advantage of five walks and four Ram errors.
“We’ve been struggling at the plate a little bit,” Dose admitted. “We need to find other ways to get runners around. The girls have that mentality to do whatever to help my team.”
Evergreen plated three runs in both the third and fourth innings on just three hits to take a commanding 7-1 lead. Collins, sophomore Sidney Phillips and junior Jackie Donoho managed the hits during the two-inning stretch.
“It was a good way to start the conference,” Dose said. “The girls have been working all season long for this. We opened up playing some really good 5A teams. They get a little upset with our record, but they work past that, keep working and keep building.”
Evergreen returns to the field Monday as it travels to face rival Conifer. The Lobos are on a 3-game winning streak that includes wins over 5A Jeffco’s Arvada West and Pomona.
The 4A Jeffco League schedule wraps up the final week of September. With no regional tournaments this season due to the COVID pandemic only the conference champion in each 4A league get an automatic bid. The remainder of the 16-team state field for the state tournament scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 10, at Aurora Sports Park will be determined by RPI.
“It’s game-by-game, inning-by-inning,” Dose said of league play. “That has the focus we’ve had since we got through preseason (non-league) schedule. Now we are ready.”
The conference road does get any easier for the Rams. Green Mountain has road games at No. 2 Wheat Ridge (Saturday) and D’Evelyn (Monday) over the next four days.
Junior Marley Behm led the Rams offensively against Evergreen. Behm went 2-for-3 from the plate that included a triple in the sixth inning. Junior Morgan Falconer also had two hits for Green Mountain in the loss that ended a 2-game winning streak for the Rams.