MURRIETA — Calvary Murrieta's star softball pitcher, senior Chelsie Keller, was feeling sick Tuesday morning. So was her batterymate, freshman catcher Sarah McWaters.
At about 10:30 a.m. they delivered the bad news to Warriors Coach Celeste Ducharme.
"I said, 'Don't go home, let's see how you do in warm-ups,'" Ducharme said. "It was one inning at a time."
Six innings was all it took for the home team in the CIF Southern Section Division 5 wild-card playoff game.
Keller threw a no-hitter as the Warriors routed Estancia, 15-0, ending the Eagles' season.
"I was feeling pretty confident," said Keller, who will play softball and perform as a cheerleader next year at Hope International University. "When you're sick or when you're super-tired, you tend to focus harder."
She definitely did that. She struck out five and allowed the Eagles (12-10) just two base-runners.
The first was on a two-out walk in the first inning by Estancia senior Rachelle Reynolds. Estancia junior Stephanie Enriquez also got on leading off the fifth inning, on an outfield error.
But by then, the Eagles were already down, 8-0. Calvary Murrieta (12-10) scored multiple runs in three of the first four innings.
The game ended after the hosts scored seven more runs in the sixth inning.
Calvary Murrieta senior second baseman Catherine McGrath had three hits and also reached on an error, one of seven by the Eagles in the game. Sophomore shortstop Brianna Savant, the Warriors' leadoff hitter, was five for five and scored three runs. McWaters had three hits, including a double, and three runs batted in.
Keller, who came into the game batting .671 this season, just missed two home runs. One she crushed just foul to left field in the third inning. Her next time up, she flied out to deep left in the fifth. She just smiled, shaking her head as she headed back to the dugout. But she made up for it in the circle with her no-hitter.
"It's a big accomplishment," said Keller, who still went two for four with a triple. "It felt good. All of the hard work paid off."
Estancia, making its first postseason appearance since 2009, did not quit. Freshman shortstop Felicia Rios made a nice defensive play in the sixth inning, robbing a Calvary Murrieta batter on an over-the-shoulder catch.
"They really worked together as a team," Estancia Coach Carrie Lester said. "They really have encouraged each other the whole way through. I never hear any of these girls bad-mouthing each other; they just build each other up. When we leave this game, nobody will say, 'Oh it's all her fault, if she didn't make that error.' I won't hear any of that, and no one will say it on our team."
Calvary Murrieta, the third-place team from the Ambassador League, moves on to the first round. The Warriors will play at Baldwin Park Sierra Vista on Thursday.
CIF Southern Section Division 5 playoffs
Calvary Murrieta 15, Estancia 0 (6 innings)
SCORE BY INNINGS
Estancia 000 000 0 – 0 0 7
Calvary 302 307 - 15 19 1
Hinkle and Vernon; Keller and McWaters. W – Keller. L – Hinkle. 2B – McWaters (CM); 3B – Keller (CM).