Shelley Carey singled home pinch-runner Kelly Bessler from third base with two outs in the 10th inning to give Laguna Hills High School a 2-1 victory over Palm Springs in a 2-A softball quarterfinal Friday at Laguna Hills.
Carey's hit advanced Laguna Hills (23-6), the second seed in the 2-A division, to Tuesday's semifinals against Corona, a 3-1 victor over Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks, in another quarterfinal game on Friday.
The loss dropped Palm Springs to 19-6.
Carey, who had three hits and scored Laguna Hills' other run on a third inning passed ball, was given the chance to drive home the game winner when Erika Schlitz sacrificed Bessler to second. Bessler was running for designated hitter Tina Gastel, who had nubbed an infield single with one out.
Bessler then went to third when Denise Kuhns' first pitch to Carey was mishandled by Palm Springs catcher Raquel Olvera. On Kuhns' next pitch Carey delivered the game-winning hit.
"I was expecting that pitch from her," Carey said. "She had been throwing me curves all day long, and because of that, I was expecting one outside. She threw exactly what I expected her to throw, and I did exactly what I wanted to do with it."
Kuhns (17-6) and Laguna Hills' Dawn Roberts (23-6) had been locked in a pitching duel. Roberts allowed one run on three hits while striking out eight and walking one.
Kuhns, who allowed three infield singles in the third which led to a run on a passed ball, had nine strikeouts and no walks.
"They weren't drilling the ball on her," said Randy Svoboda, Palm Springs coach. "She was pretty effective out there, keeping them off balance. She's one of those girls who gets stronger with every inning, and if the game had gone on longer, I still would have kept her on the mound."
Roberts, who retired 18 consecutive Palm Springs batters at one point, gave up her only run in the second on Wendy Chittenden's one-out run-scoring double.
"If the game had gone 20 innings, I still would have had Roberts in there," said Cliff Jarmie, Laguna Hills coach. "She's the one who has got us here and she has pitched every game for us."