DENVER — D’Evelyn was hoping its third trip to the Class 4A state championship softball game would end with a different result then the previous two. The Jaguars were back in the 4A state …
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DENVER — D’Evelyn was hoping its third trip to the Class 4A state championship softball game would end with a different result then the previous two.
The Jaguars were back in the 4A state championship game Saturday, Oct. 24, at Aurora Sports Park against No. 1-seed and defending state champion Holy Family. It was the first appearance for No. 7 D’Evelyn in the title game since the Jaguars went to back-to-back championship games in 2009 and 2010.
“You always have a chance. We had beat them earlier this year,” D’Evelyn coach Dan Porreco said of facing Holy Family. “We knew they are good, really good. We are good too. We made it here. Some things didn’t go our way at certain times.”
Holy Family (25-4 record) belted a trio of home runs to take a 10-4 victory. For the third time in three trips … D’Evelyn had to settle for the 4A state runner-up softball trophy.
“There are 67 other 4A softball teams that aren’t even here,” said Porreco, who had been the head softball coach for all three runs to the title game. “That is the bright way to look at it. It does suck to lose the ultimate game that we can never seem to get.”
While there was disappoint on the field at Aurora Sports Park, the Jaguars knew how much they had accomplished during a season that had a lot of questions.
Senior pitcher Avery Garbarek battled injures through the season. Freshman Tess Miller stepped into the role of the workhorse on the mound through most of the 4A Jeffco League schedule. The Jaguars (20-9) finished second in the deep 4A Jeffco League before making a great postseason run winning the regional title to qualify for state.
“There was definitely a point where we weren’t sure,” D’Evelyn sophomore Peyton Marvel said of the Jaguars even making the state tournament. “We had a streak of five (losses) that was a low point of the season.”
It looked like the state tournament playoff run might be short-lived. D’Evelyn went extra innings against Roosevelt in the first round. Senior Kensley Arbaugh belted a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Jaguars a 6-5 victory.
Garbarek pitched a complete-game shutout victory with 15 strike outs in a 2-0 win over Severance in the state quarterfinal Friday afternoon.
“Avery has had a knee problem. She hurt it last Saturday at regionals,” Porreco said of the Jaguars’ starting pitcher that battle injuries for the majority of the season. “She gutted it out and gave us her best.”
D’Evelyn kept it going with a 7-4 win over Elizabeth in the semifinals Saturday morning. Marvel belted a pair of home runs in the win to set up the showdown against Holy Family.
“During the season you never know,” Porreco said of the deep postseason run by the Jaguars. “We had a lot of ups and downs, but they really grew together. They pushed through a lot of stuff. In the end you have to be confident and play well. That is what they did.”
The Jaguars will graduate four seniors, but are confident they can get back to a fourth state title game next year.
“The seniors leaving will be hard. I’m going to miss every single one of them,” Marvel said. “I know at times this year we didn’t think we’d get to this point, but I know we can get here again next year.”
Dennis Pleuss is the Sports Information Director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more Jeffco coverage, go to CHSAANow.com.
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