MODESTO -- It didn't take long for Stesha Brazil to set the ground rules Tuesday: No one would be stealing, nor would they be putting down bunts in front of Hilmar's catcher.
To try and accomplish either, it became quite clear, would be like wasting an out.
"She's the quickest player on our team, which surprises people when they realize she's a catcher," said Hilmar coach Paul Willis, whose senior has signed a letter of intent with the University of Houston.
Whether behind the plate or in the batter's box, Brazil was playing at a level well above her competition -- and she showed her many talents in the first four innings.
After making two fine defensive plays to thwart two potential rallies, Brazil blasted an RBI double in the fourth to lead Hilmar to a 2-0 Western Athletic Conference victory over Central Catholic.
Hilmar (4-0 WAC, 10-1) only loss is to Escalon, a 1-0 setback on an unearned run.
It's a game that still makes Brazil upset.
"Escalon's good, but we can play better than we did," said Brazil, batting .552 with 10 RBIs. "(Caitlin) Brooks is a very good pitcher, but we have to learn to lay off her rise ball."
Brazil and company might get another crack at the defending Sac-Joaquin Section Division V champion in the playoffs, but they've got a hurdle to get over first.
Hilmar has been to the playoffs the last two years, finishing fourth in 2008 and third last year, but it didn't win a WAC title either year. Orestimba dominated Hilmar on the way to a section title two years ago, and last year four of Hilmar's five losses were to WAC rival Patterson -- including a playoff defeat.
Hilmar has an opportunity to establish itself as the WAC favorite Thursday when it hosts Patterson, a showdown between the conference's only 4-0 teams.
Brazil helped set up that game in the fourth, when she ripped a 2-0 pitch to the fence to drive in a run. She went to third on the late throw to the plate and scored on Alissa Orosco's looping single into center.
That was plenty of support for Alicia Paine, who frustrated Central Catholic (2-2 WAC) with a stream of offspeed pitches that produced ground balls. Paine had six strikeouts, and relied on her defense for the rest.
Hilmar 000 200 0 -- 2 4 1
Central Cath. 000 000 0 -- 0 4 1
Alicia Paine and Stesha Brazil; Briana Rios and Jaclyn Zalinski. WP -- Paine (10-1). LP -- Rios (2-5).
HILMAR -- Brazil 2b, RBI; Alissa Orosco RBI; Jessica Willis 2-3.
CENTRAL CATHOLIC -- None.
Records: Hilmar 4-0 WAC, 10-1 overall; Central Catholic 2-2 WAC, 3-5-1.