With the offense in a slump, there was only one place to turn — right-handed pitcher Sara White.
The Rancho Bernardo High softball team doubled its run production from its first postseason game, which was good enough for a 2-0 win Saturday over visiting Steele Canyon in the San Diego Section Division II second round.
Fresh off a 1-0 win over San Marcos in the opening round, the Broncos have scored enough runs to earn a trip to Thursday’s winner’s bracket semifinals against No. 1 Bonita Vista at 5:15 p.m. at Sportsplex USA in Poway.
“We threatened in just about every inning and we took better swings this time,” Broncos coach Summer Boyle said. “We took our sweet time to finally score in this game, too, and I’m not quite sure why.”
Until the bats are revived, the No. 2-seeded Broncos (23-7) will simply rely on White, a junior who has committed to Notre Dame.
White (14-6) allowed three hits and one walk while striking out three.
She allowed just three runners for Steele Canyon (19-12) to reach scoring position. One of them got to second base on a wild pitch on strike three and another in the seventh inning on a pair of errors.
“Sara was awesome,” Boyle said. “She was tough to beat all day. She was more in charge, more confident.”
Added Steele Canyon coach Julie Neubauer, whose team dropped a 3-1 decision to White and the Broncos in March during the Cougar Classic: “We had a little trouble with her today. I don’t remember her being that good the last time.”
White drove in the first run with a bases-loaded line drive off relief pitcher Rachel Beasley’s thigh. It scored Claire Ramirez, who reached on one of her three walks.
“I knew the pitcher would try to get ahead, so I looked for a pitch I could handle,” said White, who threw first-pitch strikes to 18 of the 28 Cougars she faced. “I got one. It was a great pitch to hit. I heard that sound when the ball hit her leg and I started to get a bruise. That will leave a mark.”
Danielle Knoetze walked with the bases loaded for the other run.
“We need to recognize when to lay off the pitcher’s pitch and start hitting the hitter’s pitch,” White said. “I think we’re just a little anxious, and that’s holding us back.
“As long as we keep the game close with pitching and defense, the offense will come through.”
Just as White has in allowing four hits and no runs in the postseason.