As it turned out, the Hoover High softball team could have beaten Crescenta Valley without its outfielders Thursday in a Pacific League game at Montrose Community Park.
After all, no one hit the ball out of the infield against Hoover.
The main reason: Nancy Evans was pitching for Hoover.
Evans, a junior right-hander with a wicked screwball and jumping rise ball, pitched a one-hitter and struck out 12 to help the Tornadoes win, 1-0, and clinch a share of the league title.
"I had an adrenaline rush the whole game," Evans said.
Hoover (19-2, 7-0 in league play), which has finished third in the league for the past two seasons, has three league games remaining.
Crescenta Valley, which has won the league title in eight of the past nine years, fell to 16-4, 5-3.
"We want some respect, and I think we've earned it this year," Hoover Coach Kirt Kohlmeier said. "We've been knocking at the door the last two years."
The Tornadoes got the only run they needed in the fourth inning. Kelly Christiansen, who had two of Hoover's four hits, hit a line single to left to lead off the inning. Tracy Christiansen, Kelly's younger sister, followed with a bunt.
After bobbling the bunt, third baseman Cara Campbell overthrew the first baseman and the ball rolled down the right-field line. Without breaking stride, Kelly Christiansen scored easily.
It was the 11th one-hitter this season for Evans (19-2), who has struck out 282 in 156 innings. The only hit she gave up was a bunt single by Jennifer Ferreira to lead off the seventh.
Evans fielded the bunt cleanly only three feet in front of the plate, but her throw was a split second late.
Crescenta Valley senior right-hander Stacy Atwood (15-4), who has signed a letter of intent to play at UC Santa Barbara next year, pitched a four-hitter and struck out 10.