Chatfield softball will ride into the Class 5A postseason as the Class 5A Jeffco League champions.
The Chargers — No. 3 in the 5A softball CHSAA Selection & Seeding Index — finished off their conference play in style Monday with a 15-0 home victory over Lakewood. It was the ninth straight victory for Chatfield (17-6, 7-0 in 5A Jeffco) and first league title for the Chargers since 2020.
“It’s awesome. We have a great group of girls that have been working hard all year,” Chatfield coach Darin Shepard said. “League (5A Jeffco) is right now 1, 2 and 3 in state. It’s a tough league and for us to win it is a huge accomplishment.”
Arvada West (18-3, 5-1), defending 5A state champion Columbine (18-4, 4-2) and Chatfield held the top three slots in the selection & seeding index after Monday’s games. The Chargers got road wins over both the Wildcats and Rebels to come away with the conference title.
“It means a lot,” Chatfield senior Klara Van Beuge said of winning the league title. “I’ve been happy with our wins. I just hope we keep going moving into regionals and state to have a good run.”
Next up for Chatfield will likely be a host for a regional tournament coming up Oct. 14. The state tournament is scheduled for Oct. 20 and 21 at Aurora Sports Park.
“I feel like the break will be good,” said Chatfield junior Ava Burgess about Chatfield having more than 10 days before the start of the postseason.
Chatfield’s bats haven’t taken a break all season. The Chargers had a nine-run bottom of the second inning against Lakewood (8-13, 0-6) to open up a 10-0 lead. Chatfield was able to induce the 15-run mercy rule to end the game with a five-run bottom of the third.
Burgess opened the third with a triple and scored on a throwing error. Van Buege and junior Lexie Balfanz hit back-to-back solo home runs to keep the scoring going.
“I was just trying to relax.See ball, hit ball,” Van Beuge said of her no-doubt home run in the bottom of the third inning. “I’ve been in a bit of a lull for the last few games. I was trying to focus on myself and my hitting in this game.”
Junior Kendall Holloway ended the game with an RBI double as the Chargers batted around in the third inning after sending 14 batters to the plate in the second inning.
“One after the other we just pass the bat,” Burgess said of the Chargers’ offense that has scored 223 runs in 23 games. “We came up with the saying, ‘Don’t be the last out.’ We have scored a lot of runs with two outs.”
While Shepard was pleased with another offensive outburst, he was just as impressed with Holloway pitching three shutout innings.
“Our bats have been going in the right direction. Hopefully we can keep it going,” Shepard said. “What I liked better than that was putting a zero up on the board for (Lakewood). We haven’t been doing a lot of that lately.”
Chatfield gave up a season-high 13 runs against Ralston Valley on Saturday. All 14 runs that the Chargers scored against the Mustangs we needed to officially clinch the league title last weekend.
“If we stay focused we have a good chance,” Van Beuge said of the Chargers trying to win its second state championship in the program’s history. “Honestly, there hasn’t been a solid dominating team this year in 5A.”
Chatfield won the 5A state title back in 1997.
Dennis Pleuss is the Sports Information Director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more Jeffco coverage, visit CHSAANow.com.