LAKE FOREST — Misty Lauby and her pitches rose to perfection Thursday at El Toro High School.
Lauby, an El Toro sophomore, pitched a perfect game to help the Chargers post a 4-0 first-round Southern Section 4-A softball playoff victory over Villa Park.
Lauby retired all 21 hitters she faced, striking out nine with an effective riser.
"If they swing at 'em, we pitch 'em," El Toro catcher Megan Juggert said.
Third-seeded El Toro (22-8-1) advances to Tuesday's second round to play Covina Charter Oak (16-5), a 6-0 winner over San Bernardino San Gorgonio, at a site to be determined.
Lauby's perfect game was the first of her high school career and her first no-hitter this season. Villa Park (14-10) hit only one ball out of the infield.
"We hadn't been no-hit this season until today," Villa Park David Shelton said. "We didn't lay off the riser today, so why should Lauby stop throwing it?"
The Spartans almost had an infield hit in the top of the seventh. With one out, Julie Riley hit a slow grounder past drawn-in third baseman Tricia Buckeley, but El Toro shortstop Sam Smithson fielded the ball in the hole and threw out Riley by a half-step.
Smithson is the backup shortstop to Jamie Smith, who hit .385 during South Coast League play. Smith underwent surgery on her left knee earlier this month to repair cartilage damage, and will likely miss the remainder of the season.
For four innings, Villa Park's freshman pitcher Brandee McArthur matched zeros with Lauby despite some shaky defense. The Spartans committed four errors in the game, and the 5-foot-10 McArthur did not allow an earned run while striking out three.
El Toro broke through for two runs in the fifth. El Toro took a 1-0 lead with Lauby scoring from third when Smithson hit a ground ball to third. Lauby broke for home after Villa Park third baseman Silvia Salgado threw late to first, then Lauby slid in safely when catcher Kristen Maida dropped first baseman Mickey Trollinger's throw.
Debbie Davis, who reached on a solid single to center field, scored from third with one out on Buckeley's groundout to second, making it 2-0. Kelli Bruce's single in the sixth drove in two, making it 4-0.