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Softball: Chvatal’s two-hitter propels Holy Family past Erie

Holy Family wins 7-0 as NCAC race heats up

  • The Holy Family High School softball team huddles up after beating Erie High School on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Broomfield, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Tim Hurst/Staff Photographer

    Erie High School sophomore catcher Jaiselyn Hernandez (18) tags Holy Family High School senior Carly Eldredge (7) out at the plate on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Broomfield, Colo.

  • Erie High School freshman pitcher Matix Hull (2) throws in the first inning against Holy Family High School on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Broomfield, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • The Holy Family High School softball is seen huddling up in the reflection of senior pitcher Cassidy Chvatal's (6) sunglasses after a win over Erie High School on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Broomfield, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Holy Family High School junior shortstop Ava Kuszak (4) turns two while Erie High School junior Emma Osborne (22) slides into second late on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Broomfield, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Erie High School freshman second baseman Renee Laczkowski (13) tags Holy Family High School senior Toni Schafer (2) after being forced out at second on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Broomfield, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Holy Family High School junior outfielder Annika Manzanares (16) makes a catch to close out a win over Erie High School on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Broomfield, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Holy Family High School senior pitcher Cassidy Chvatal (6) throws in the fifth inning against Erie High School on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Broomfield, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Tim Hurst/Staff Photographer

    Holy Family High School junior outfielder Annika Manzanares (16) id greeted by teammates after making a catch to close out a win over Erie High School on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Broomfield, Colo.

  • Tim Hurst/Staff Photographer

    Erie High School senior first baseman Kambry Fraser (21) makes a tough catch to force out Holy Family High School senior Jenna Pfenning (1) at first on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Broomfield, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Erie High School junior outfielder Ashlee Lovett (5) bobbles and drops a hit by Holy Family High School junior Annika Manzanares (16) on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Broomfield, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Holy Family High School senior third baseman Lindsey Deau (8) throws to first during a game against Erie High School on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Broomfield, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Erie High School senior Kirstyn Case (7) slides back to first after Holy Family High School senior second baseman Carly Eldredge (7) attempts to haul in a throw on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Broomfield, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Holy Family High School junior Abby Edwards (5) makes contact during a game against Erie High School on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Broomfield, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Tim Hurst/Staff Photographer

    Holy Family High School junior Abby Edwards (5) and senior Jacquelynn Siefken (19) meet at the plate after being hit in by teammate Jenna Pfenning during a game against Erie High School on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Broomfield, Colo.

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BROOMFIELD —The timing was impeccable for Holy Family ace Cassidy Chvatal’s finest performance of the year. She knows, of course, it’s only the start.

“It’s just an absolute dogfight to get to state with everybody in our league, (the 4A Northern Colorado Athletic Conference),” said Chvatal, who threw a two-hit complete game and drove in three in a 7-0 win over defending state champ Erie Tuesday afternoon. “It’s crazy.”

And true.

These wins are huge. And for pretty much anyone outside the NCAC, this moment would last. But in this conference, with what’s awaiting, you blink, and you could be out of contention.

Coming into the day, two weeks before the state bracket is announced, the toughest league in the classification remained the most tangled. As five of its teams — No. 2 Mead, No. 4 Holy Family, No. 5 Silver Creek, No. 8 Erie and Windsor — were undefeated in conference and in contention for its inaugural title.

Maybe even more important, however, are the playoff implications. With league winners getting the only automatic bid among the 16-team bracket — leaving the rest up to complexity of RPI — the room for error fits inside of a glove.

The postseason “has started now,” Erie coach Vanessa Smith said. “It started last week, basically. This is a challenging league. But you got to beat the best to be the best.”

On a sweltering afternoon, Chvatal racked up zeroes like they were on clearance for the Broomfield-based Tigers (9-2, 4-0). And finally, some separation among the league’s elite.

After giving up five earned runs when facing Erie (8-4, 4-1) in a nonleague contest to start the fall, the senior forced plenty of weak contact. The dull sound of aluminum was more often than not put away thanks to a strong defensive effort behind her.

She allowed a single in the fourth, a double in seventh. But no more.

“Ever since the first time we played Erie, Cass has been working her butt off at practice and has been going with her pitching coach a lot,” Holy Family coach Moriah Nguyen said. “Just came out with a strong head on her shoulders and did her job.”

She did it from the plate, too.

Chvatal had a seeing-eye, two-run single in the first off Erie starter Matix Hull, then drove in another in the fifth to push the lead to 5-0. She finished 2-for-3 as her season batting average popped up to .613.

Carly Eldredge and Jenna Pfenning also added two hits and a pair of RBIs. Eldredge is hitting .595 on the year, while Pfenning is at .351.

Holy Family will finish the week at Longmont and Skyline before facing Mead, Windsor and Silver Creek to close out its regular season. Erie has Mead Thursday, then ends with Silver Creek, Centaurus and Windsor.