You've got to have Hart to win close games.
Hart High did it Wednesday--twice.
Thanks to superb pitching and timely hitting, Hart took two games from Alemany by identical 1-0 scores in a softball doubleheader at Newhall Park.
Nicolette Weinstein had the game-winning single in the bottom of the 12th inning of the opener and freshman Lindsey Kontra was the pitching star in the second game for Hart (4-0), ranked No. 7 in the region by The Times.
The teams have been two of the stronger ones in the Valley the past several years, but have not met since the 1980s.
Unfortunately for Alemany (2-2), the schools finally got back together.
Weinstein, who plays second base for Hart, blooped a single to short right field that scored Sara Dean from third base and ended a marathon that went to the tiebreaker format once the teams reached the 10th inning.
Dean began the 12th at second base, moved to third on Amanda Fortune's sacrifice bunt and scored when Weinstein sent a high, inside pitch to the opposite field.
"I was trying to fight it off," Weinstein said. "I knew I had to take it to the right side."
Fortune (3-0) took Hart that far defensively, striking out eight batters and scattering five hits in 12 innings.
"Her presence out there is exceptionally mature and she doesn't get rattled," Hart Coach Al Weil said. "Her demeanor is outstanding."
Fortune has always had plenty of velocity on the ball, but after spending off-season time with the Southern California Stealth travel softball team, her movement has improved greatly.
Kim Diener, who has committed to Long Beach State, was nearly as good for Alemany, allowing four hits and striking out two in the game.
The only walk by either pitcher was a first-inning intentional pass by Fortune to load the bases. She got the next two batters out.
Alemany had other chances in the seventh and eighth innings, but never pushed a run across.
"Every inning, I think we could have scored at least one run," Diener said. "At practice we hit really well, but at games we get scared."
Diener (2-2) pitched all 19 innings and tired slightly in the second game, allowing hits in six of the seven innings.
Unlike the opener, the main blow came in the first inning, when Hart shortstop Jocelyn Evans drilled a single to left that scored Stacy Holbrook from second base.
Kontra (1-0) kept Alemany off-balance the rest of the way, allowing three hits.