ARVADA — Conifer’s young softball team showed its maturity on Aug. 24. The Lobos jumped out to an early 5-0 lead on the road against a historic-rich Arvada West program. The Wildcats rallied, but …
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ARVADA — Conifer’s young softball team showed its maturity on Aug. 24.
The Lobos jumped out to an early 5-0 lead on the road against a historic-rich Arvada West program. The Wildcats rallied, but Conifer held its ground to take a 6-4 victory.
“It means a lot. We’ve worked so hard this year to get everything together. We have such a strong team this year,” Conifer junior Cheyenne Prieto said. “Winning against a 5A team gives us a lot of confidence. It’s something to be excited about.”
Prieto was solid in the circle for the Lobos (2-1 record). The hard-throwing righty retired the first nine A-West batters she faced, striking out seven. She finished the game in style striking out A-West sophomore Peyton Raley to end the game.
“I couldn’t get it to work at all this game,” Prieto said of her change-up that she threw to catch Raley looking at strike-three. “That was the point that I needed it. It worked out perfectly and I was really, really happy with it. It was really exciting to throw one in the strike zone to get the final out.”
Prieto finished with a dozen strikeouts. The only A-West batter who really hurt Pietro was Savannah Clausen. The senior had a pair of triples, driving in two runs and scoring twice.
“It was nice to be a spark for the team,” Clausen said of her two triples. “I wish we would have taken the momentum a little further.”
Clausen led off the bottom of the sixth inning with her second triple and would eventually score on an RBI single by sophomore Kendall Mulvaney to cut the Lobos’ lead to 6-4.
However, Conifer closed the door in the bottom of the seventh.
“This one feels good,” Conifer coach Carrie Oletski said. “People are going to take notice of this win.”
Oletski has a junior-loaded squad with a sprinkle of freshmen and sophomores. The Lobos have just two seniors in Sunny Aikin and Amber Prescott. Prescott had a key two-run single in the third inning to extend Conifer’s lead to 5-0.
“They decided as seniors they were going to be the leaders, not followers,” Oletski said of her two seniors Sunny Aiken and Amber Prescott. “They were not going to let what happened to them last year happen this year.”
The Lobos had a 16-win season in 2019, but finished second in the Colorado 7 League behind Riverdale Ridge and failed to advance to the 4A state tournament after losses to Elizabeth and Pueblo County in regionals.
Conifer returns to the 4A Jeffco League that features No. 3-ranked Wheat Ridge, along with 4A state runner-up Golden, perennial state qualifier D’Evelyn and rival Evergreen.
“We are expecting the extra challenge going back to 4A Jeffco,” Prieto said.
The Lobos begin conference play against Standley Lake on Sept. 8.
“We would love to come back in and take it,” Oletski said of returning to the 4A Jeffco League. “We took 3-of-4 (Colorado 7) league titles the last four years. It would be nice to comeback and win league.”
A-West (3-4) went 2-2 in the 5A/4A Showdown Tournament hosted by Broomfield and Erie on Aug. 28 and 29. The Wildcats took victories over Elizabeth and Brighton during the two-day tournament.
“We’ll come back tomorrow to practice and work our butts off,” Clausen said. “We are going to have to figure out what we are doing wrong. We have a short season and we can’t take too long to figure things out.”
The Wildcats begin their 5A Jeffco League schedule at Lakewood on Sept. 8.
Dennis Pleuss is the Sports Information Director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more coverage go to CHSAANow.com/Jeffco.
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