D'Evelyn Softball beats Pomona

No. 4 D’Evelyn softball takes victory over Pomona
Posted on 08/23/2021
This is the image for the news article titled No. 4 D’Evelyn softball takes victory over PomonaWritten by: Dennis Pleuss

DENVER — D’Evelyn senior Izzy Mussara would like another shot to play in the Class 4A state softball championship game.

“After the upset last year I really would love to go to state (title game) this year,” Mussara said after the Jaguars improved to 3-1 on the season with a 8-3 home victory over Pomona. “Avery (Garbarek) is going to be huge for us being a senior pitcher. All the seniors play with a lot of heart. I’m really excited about this season.”

The Jaguars looked poised to advance to the title game during the shortened COVID season a year ago. D’Evelyn faced Holy Family in the state semifinals and held a 6-5 leading heading into the final inning, but the Tigers scored 7 runs in the top of the seventh inning on the way to a 12-7 victory.

Despite coming so close last year, the No. 4 ranked Jaguars don’t feel any extra pressure when it comes to going after the program’s first state championship.

“Our team has never been a team that feels a lot of pressure,” D’Evelyn senior ace pitcher Avery Garbarek said. “We try to always come up and have fun. Personally I’m excited, maybe a little nervous once we get deeper into the season and play harder teams. We want to play relaxed.”

D’Evelyn could have tightened up against Class 5A Jeffco League’s Pomona Panthers on Monday afternoon. Pomona scored 3 runs in the top of the third inning to tie things up 3-3. Junior Kylie Lunsford led of the inning with a double. Freshman Lia Martinez had a key single and the Panthers (1-3 record) ran the bases well.

Garbarek struggled with her control and freshman catcher Rachel Perlman had some issues gathering in some of Garbarek’s pitches out of the zone.

“Pitching is a mental position. You just have to pull yourself together,” Garbarek said of the third inning. “I went in the dugout and regrouped. It was nice to have all my teammates come up to me and tell me that I’m fine.”

D’Evelyn coach Dan Porreco welcomed his squad see a little adversity early on in the season.

“It was 3-3 and I wanted to see how they respond. They responded,” Porreco said. “You could lose a game after an inning like that.”

D’Evelyn regained the lead in the bottom of the third with an RBI single by senior Mia Riebe. The Jaguars plated 4 runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 8-3 lead. Mussara had the big hit with a 2-run single.

Garbarek settled back in allowing just a pair of singles in the final four innings. She finished with eight strikeouts.

“When she is on and she on,” Porreco said of Garbarek. “We just have to get that catching under control.”

While Garbarek has a ton of experience as a four-year varsity pitcher for the Jaguars, her battery mate is just learning the catching position. Perlman primarily played baseball before starting her softball career at D’Evelyn.

“She (Perlman) is coming from baseball, but she has been working her butt off to get better,” Garbarek said. “She is a good freshman catcher, works hard and has a good attitude with it. She is going great.”

D’Evelyn will have to be great if it wants to capture the 4A Jeffco League title. The latest CHSAANow.com 4A softball rankings has D’Evelyn, Conifer and Wheat Ridge all in the top-8.

“It’s going to be tough,” Porreco said of 4A Jeffco this season.

Pomona has a senior-laded squad with 10 seniors this season for longtime coach Jim Biddle. The Panthers were shortened Monday without three starters, but should have everyone back once Pomona starts 5A Jeffco League play in mid-September.

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