Janelle Christman's senior presence made the going smooth for the 23-6 Canyon Del Oro Dorados softball team in its 4A-I tournament home opener.
Christman pitched a seven-inning shutout over Glendale Raymond S. Kellis, 5-0.
The win, coupled with an upset, means the sixth-seeded Dorados were scheduled to host another game Tuesday against 14th-ranked Cave Creek Cactus Shadows. Cactus Shadows stunned third-seeded Peoria 29-17.
Christman was never threatened last week, striking out six, giving up four hits and issuing no walks.
"The first few innings were kind of shaky," Christman said. "My team really backed me up."
The offense made it easy for Christman with three early runs in the second.
Sammi Noland opened with a double. Hannah Sullivan singled her to third. With one down, Amanda Miller laid down the perfect squeeze to score Noland. Kayla Henry's single knocked in Sullivan. Henry scored the third run on a wild pitch.
"I was happy with the girls attitude," said CDO coach Kelly Fowler. "It helps to score runs early on.
"I was very impressed defensively with only one error."
The Dorados scored two more times in the fifth.
Val Mendoza walked. With one down, Noland singled. A sacrifice bunt advanced the runners to second and third. Then Emily McSherry came off the bench, and stroked a two-run single to make it 5-0.
Noland and Sullivan had two hits each for the Dorados.
"We had really solid hitting," Christman said. "Our defense was awesome."
While Kenzie Fowler now twirls for the University of Arizona, CDO has a very formidable pitching combination with Christman and Kayla Bonstrom. Christman is the drop-ball specialist with very good control, while Bonstrom is the hard-throwing sophomore.
"We'll use both pitchers going down the stretch," Fowler said. "We're just going to adjust depending on who we play. You never know what's going to happen."
Just ask Peoria.