DENVER — An anomaly in the history of softball in Jeffco has been corrected.

D’Evelyn — the Jeffco Public Schools option school that opened its doors in 1994 — had never won a league softball title, until this week. The Jaguars (18-4 record, 7-0 in Class 4A Jeffco) officially wrapped up the program’s first conference title Monday with a 10-1 road victory over Green Mountain.

“It feels great to win it for the coaches. They have worked hard for 28 years,” D’Evelyn senior Peyton Marvel said. “This team is just special and I feel like we deserve it. We have worked so hard this year to get it.”

D’Evelyn head coach Dan Porreco and assistant coach Joel Halliwell have both had roles with the Jaguars’ softball program for nearly three decades.

Photo by Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Public Schools

“Is that bad coaching if this is your first Jeffco league title?,” Porreco said jokingly after the 4A Jeffco League championship plaque was presented to his team Tuesday after a 10-0 home victory against Thomas Jefferson. “I don’t know if you celebrate that after 28 years. I probably should have been fired a long time ago.”

It’s not like D’Evelyn had a struggling softball program. The Jaguars have three 4A state runner-up trophies (2021, 2010 and 2009) to go along with an impressive 16 state tournament appearances.

“It’s huge. We are breaking school history right now,” D’Evelyn junior pitcher Tess Miller said of winning league. “To win it for Porreco who has almost been here 30 years and sending our seniors out with a bang.”

The Jaguars kept the party going Tuesday winning their 11th straight game with a dominating victory in five innings over TJ. It was the regular-season finale for D’Evelyn who will host a 4A regional tournament starting Oct. 13 or 14

Marvel got everything started offensively with an inside the park home run on the first pitch she saw in the bottom of the first inning against TJ. Twenty-four hours earlier she hit a first-pitch lead-off home run against Green Mountain.

“I always want to start on top and I feel like my role as the lead-off batter is to get on,” Marvel said. “Hitting a home run is just extra.”

D’Evelyn took advantage of three walks in the bottom of the first inning. Sophomore Nava Basquez knocked in a run during the 3-run inning. Marvel kept things going in the second inning with an RBI single and scored on an error to extend the lead to 5-0.

“I love Peyton. She is such a great role model,” Miller said. “Whenever we need something big to happen she is always there.”

Miller was solid in the circle picking up the shutout victory. She scattered four hits and walked just one batter as TJ never got a runner past second base.

“Tess has been our workhorse. She has been really great,” Porreco said. “She isn’t a strikeout pitcher by any means, but she get the ground out and pop outs. She’ll pitch all day. She is our workhorse.”

D’Evelyn put the game away in the bottom of the fourth inning scoring six runs to take an 11-0 lead. Seniors Ingrid Dalla and Lexi Ornstein both drove in a run before Basquez came up big with a bases loaded, 3-run double to push the lead to double-digits.

The Jaguars — No. 3 in the 4A softball CHSAA Selection & Seeding Index — will now wait to see how the regional playoff brackets stack up. Those will be released Monday, Oct. 16.

“We know the (regular) season is over. It’s a new ballgame now,” Porreco said looking ahead to the playoffs next week. “We have to play our best starting now.”

No. 1 Holy Family could likely stand in the Jaguars way, again, if both advance to the 16-team state tournament Oct. 20 and 21 at Aurora Sports Park. Holy Family defeated D’Evelyn in the 4A state title game in 2021 and last winter the Tigers won the 4A girls basketball state championship game over the Jaguars.

“Basketball and softball, I’m been apart of everything except a state championship,” Marvel said referring to D’Evelyn being the 4A softball state runner-up in 2021 and 4A girls basketball state runner-up in 2023. “Before I leave I’m hoping I get at least one (state title).”