Jennifer Berry had trouble recalling exactly what was on her mind before she drove in the only run in Patrick Henry's 1-0 victory over Southwest in the first round of the San Diego Section 3-A softball playoffs Saturday.
Jones probably knew her pitcher--Amy Miner--would likely need only one run to win. But with one out in the bottom of the seventh, she also realized the top-seeded Patriots were pushing their luck against the Raiders--the last team to qualify for the playoffs.
"I was nervous, but I wasn't thinking about anything but getting the run in . . . I think," said Berry, whose bases-loaded single through the hole at shortstop scored Shannon Murphy.
"And when I hit it," Berry said, "all that was on my mind was to get to first base because I wasn't sure it was going to get through and we were going to score."
Patrick Henry (18-5-1) was frustrated at the plate, but not in the field. Miner (17-5-1) threw her fifth no-hitter of the season. She tied Jenifer Booker of Madison and Audrey West of Rancho Buena Vista for the most no-hitters in a season.
The junior struck out eight, walked two and hit two, as the Patriots advanced to play Grossmont (23-8) in Tuesday's second round.
Miner may not have allowed any hits, but the Patriots, City Eastern League champions, realized the Raiders (13-11), the No. 4 team from the Metro Conference, were going to give them a battle. Especially after Southwest pitcher Lisa Gonzalez stranded runners on third in the first three innings.
By the bottom of the seventh, Berry had enough. She had reached third in the first inning with one out and the sixth inning with no outs. She tried to score on Miner's grounder in the sixth but found catcher Cherise Davis blocking the plate after getting a perfect throw from shortstop Christina DeIarado.
The Patriots finally got to Gonzalez in the seventh, after Gonzalez had struck out for and walked only one in the first six. Murphy started the inning with the first of four singles, a pop fly to shallow left field. One out later, Chaundrissa Oyeshiku beat out a chopper in front of the plate, then Brooke Peterson got her second hit of the game--a sharp liner to center, which loaded the bases.
Berry then hustled to the plate and punched Gonzalez's 0-1 pitch through the hole at shortstop.
"They gave us a pretty good game," said Berry.
Southwest Coach Al Hale agreed, saying he has something on which to build, with only three seniors in the lineup.
"I'm really proud of the way they played," said Hale. "This is only Lisa's (Gonzalez) second year pitching, so she'll be tough."