SANTA ANA — Paige Lauby threw a three-hitter as El Toro High School defeated Saddleback, 1-0, in a Southern Section 3-A semifinal softball game Tuesday at Centennial Park.
El Toro Coach Jim Dougherty called his pitcher's performance, "another Xerox copy job," as Lauby struck out 15 and walked only three to improve to 15-2.
The Chargers (25-8) will play Don Lugo for the division championship at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Mayfair Park in Lakewood.
El Toro took advantage of an error in the fifth inning Tuesday for the game's only run.
Kymm Maniscalco, a standout on El Toro's Southern Section 4-A championship soccer team, was the only player with two hits, one of which set up the winning run.
"She's (Maniscalco) a part-time softball player," Dougherty said. "She normally just keeps it (her hits) in the infield, but she's been hitting it well lately."
With Jenny Melville on first, Maniscalco hit a line drive that dropped into right-center field. Melville scored when right fielder Tracy Reines' throw to third bounced wide and rolled to the fence.
Saddleback put runners in scoring position in each of the last three innings, but Lauby stopped the Roadrunners each time.
Saddleback pitcher Desi Abrego gave up four hits, struck out four, walked one and hit one batter. Coach Yvonne Alonso said Abrego's effort would have taken the game into extra innings had it not been for the fifth-inning error.
"That throw to third . . . " Alonso said. "Otherwise, I don't think we'd have finished playing yet."
Each team committed two errors.
One of El Toro's came on an inaccurate throw from center fielder Maniscalco in the bottom of the fifth, after the Chargers had taken the lead.