In the first inning of a game seemingly destined for offensive fireworks, Paraclete of Lancaster’s second hitter took a mighty hack.
Fortunately for Hart, Mona Trevizo’s two-strike, off-speed pitch hadn’t arrived yet.
Trevizo smiled. It was her only strikeout Tuesday at Hart in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 playoffs, but it was just the beginning of a coming-out party a season in the making and a 7-0 win that lifted the Indians to their first quarterfinal since 2010.
Hart (18-12) will host Patriot High of Riverside on Thursday.
“I knew I was going to come out and do really well to help my team. Every pitch was working and I wasn’t nervous when I stepped in the circle because I knew I could do it,” said Trevizo, who transferred to Hart from Texas before this season and had to sit out until April 3.
It then took time for her to build the confidence she unleashed on the two-time-defending Division 6 champs on Tuesday.
In a complete-game effort, Trevizo allowed a hit in each of the first six innings, but nothing more.
She retired the side in order in the seventh, third baseman Abby Sweet throwing across the diamond for the final out and one of her easier plays on the day.
Sweet made a diving stop toward the foul line in the fourth, rose to her feet and retired Regan Johnson. It was the highlight amid Hart’s strong afternoon with the leather.
“They played a helluva defensive game,” said Paraclete coach Margaret Neill, whose Spirits (20-8) were bereft of injured Arizona State-bound catcher Rylee Maston on a day it struggled to string hits together.
Hart turned two hits and a Paraclete error into two runs in the second.
Then Jordyn Gasper ignited a rally in the fifth with her second double of the day. She came around to score on Kylie Norwood’s sacrifice fly a couple batters later.
Then Aly Kaneshiro picked up her team-leading 46th RBI on a single to give Hart a 4-0 lead.
The Indians made their own breaks in the sixth. After a Gasper RBI groundout, shortstop Brooke Marquez singled in a run.
Sweet, who moved to third on the hit, hurtled home when Marquez snuck toward second as the relay came in from the outfield.
Marquez was out. Sweet was safe. Hart was safe, too.
Marquez finished 2-for-4, while Arianna Ramos and Andrea Cespedes were each 2-for-3.
The story, though, was in the circle.
“Mona did a fantastic job,” said Hart coach Steve Calendo.