By Matt Glass
For the Courier
Dakota Ridge’s softball team showed why it has a top-10 ranking in 5A with a commanding 12-3 win over Arvada West on Sept. 22 at Dave Atencio Field.
With a strong performance from junior pitcher Rachelle Foos and a well-rounded offense that seemed to capitalize on every mistake made by Arvada West, there was no slowing down the Lady Eagles.
“We’re looking to repeat as league champions, but (we) still have another four tough games left this year and just have to stay focused,” head coach Dave Atencio said. The Lady Eagles shared the 2011 5A Jeffco League title with Chatfield, though the Lady Chargers earned bragging rights with a 2-1 victory a season ago. “We came out hard today and we’re able to put up six in the first inning. (That) really helped start us up.”
Atencio led his team to a regional championship last year as well as the Elite 8 at the 5A state tournament. The Lady Eagles (13-2, 3-1 5A Jeffco) were ranked No. 3 in the state entering last week’s game, according to The Denver Post media poll.
Dakota Ridge’s offense got contributions from all over the place. A late inning home run by outfielder Morgan Wilhelm was the only one for Dakota Ridge all day, but that was more of a nail in the coffin rather than a boost for the team. Their quick start got them six runs in the first inning, and Dakota Ridge was able to score in every inning following except for the fifth.
Dakota Ridge remains dominant on the mound. It has now given up just 24 runs in 15 games. Foos, however, did have some mistakes on the mound as well. With three illegal pitches, runners from Arvada West were able to advance. One resulted in a run.
The only other two runs from Arvada West came from a passed ball and a throwing error to third to reach the runner, and a solo home run by junior Delaney McGinn, her first of the season.
Arvada West dropped to 12-3, 3-1 in league play. Chatfield and Ralston Valley are also 3-1 in the league.