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Reece Uehara leads Mission Viejo softball to win over Esperanza to start Carew Classic

Esperanza’s Tayloran Sicard, right, makes the tag on Mission Viejo’s...

Esperanza’s Tayloran Sicard, right, makes the tag on Mission Viejo’s Brooke Neale, left, for an out on an attempted steal during the game between Esperanza vs. Mission Viejo in the first round of the Carew Classic softball tournament at Peralta Park in Anaheim Hills. (Photo by Michael Kitada, Contributing Photographer)

Mission Viejo’s Kara King makes contact during the game between...

Mission Viejo’s Kara King makes contact during the game between Esperanza vs. Mission Viejo in the first round of the Carew Classic softball tournament at Peralta Park in Anaheim Hills. (Photo by Michael Kitada, Contributing Photographer)

Esperanza’s Calista Van Artsdalen, left, reaches in vain for the...

Esperanza’s Calista Van Artsdalen, left, reaches in vain for the ball as Mission Viejo’s Reece Uehara, right, beats the throw during the game between Esperanza vs. Mission Viejo in the first round of the Carew Classic softball tournament at Peralta Park in Anaheim Hills. (Photo by Michael Kitada, Contributing Photographer)

Esperanza’s Taylor Shumaker, left, high fives Jenna Gober, right, during...

Esperanza’s Taylor Shumaker, left, high fives Jenna Gober, right, during the game between Esperanza vs. Mission Viejo in the first round of the Carew Classic softball tournament at Peralta Park in Anaheim Hills. (Photo by Michael Kitada, Contributing Photographer)

Mission Viejo’s Reece Uehara records an out from a hit...

Mission Viejo’s Reece Uehara records an out from a hit back to the pitcher in the game between Esperanza vs. Mission Viejo in the first round of the Carew Classic softball tournament at Peralta Park in Anaheim Hills. (Photo by Michael Kitada, Contributing Photographer)

Esperanza’s Charley Duran winds up during the game between Esperanza...

Esperanza’s Charley Duran winds up during the game between Esperanza vs. Mission Viejo in the first round of the Carew Classic softball tournament at Peralta Park in Anaheim Hills. (Photo by Michael Kitada, Contributing Photographer)

Mission Viejo’s Kara King rounds second base as Esperanza’s Charley...

Mission Viejo’s Kara King rounds second base as Esperanza’s Charley Duran fields a ball during the game between Esperanza vs. Mission Viejo in the first round of the Carew Classic softball tournament at Peralta Park in Anaheim Hills. (Photo by Michael Kitada, Contributing Photographer)

Esperanza’s Taylor Shumaker makes contact during the game between Esperanza...

Esperanza’s Taylor Shumaker makes contact during the game between Esperanza vs. Mission Viejo in the first round of the Carew Classic softball tournament at Peralta Park in Anaheim Hills. (Photo by Michael Kitada, Contributing Photographer)

Mission Viejo’s Ava Tabangcura, right, is left on base as...

Mission Viejo’s Ava Tabangcura, right, is left on base as Esperanza’s Juliette Beltran makes an out to end the inning in a game between Esperanza vs. Mission Viejo in the first round of the Carew Classic softball tournament at Peralta Park in Anaheim Hills. (Photo by Michael Kitada, Contributing Photographer)

Esperanza’s Charley Duran pitched for Esperanza in a game between...

Esperanza’s Charley Duran pitched for Esperanza in a game between Esperanza vs. Mission Viejo in the first round of the Carew Classic softball tournament at Peralta Park in Anaheim Hills. (Photo by Michael Kitada, Contributing Photographer)

Mission Viejo’s Reece Uehara pitched for the Diablos in a...

Mission Viejo’s Reece Uehara pitched for the Diablos in a game between Esperanza vs. Mission Viejo in the first round of the Carew Classic softball tournament at Peralta Park in Anaheim Hills. (Photo by Michael Kitada, Contributing Photographer)

Esperanza’s Taylor Shumaker celebrates an out as she leaves the...

Esperanza’s Taylor Shumaker celebrates an out as she leaves the field during a game between Esperanza vs. Mission Viejo in the first round of the Carew Classic softball tournament at Peralta Park in Anaheim Hills. (Photo by Michael Kitada, Contributing Photographer)

Mission Viejo’s Reece Uehara pitched for the Diablos in a...

Mission Viejo’s Reece Uehara pitched for the Diablos in a game between Esperanza vs. Mission Viejo in the first round of the Carew Classic softball tournament at Peralta Park in Anaheim Hills. (Photo by Michael Kitada, Contributing Photographer)

Mission Viejo’s Sofia Elliott came into the game to record...

Mission Viejo’s Sofia Elliott came into the game to record the last outs in a game between Esperanza vs. Mission Viejo in the first round of the Carew Classic softball tournament at Peralta Park in Anaheim Hills. (Photo by Michael Kitada, Contributing Photographer)

Mission Viejo’s Reece Uehara pitched for the Diablos in a...

Mission Viejo’s Reece Uehara pitched for the Diablos in a game between Esperanza vs. Mission Viejo in the first round of the Carew Classic softball tournament at Peralta Park in Anaheim Hills. (Photo by Michael Kitada, Contributing Photographer)

Esperanza’s Taylor Shumaker leaves the field in-between innings during a...

Esperanza’s Taylor Shumaker leaves the field in-between innings during a game between Esperanza vs. Mission Viejo in the first round of the Carew Classic softball tournament at Peralta Park in Anaheim Hills. (Photo by Michael Kitada, Contributing Photographer)

ANAHEIM — Mission Viejo pitcher Reece Uehara was clutch in the pitching circle and at the plate in the Diablos’ 3-2 victory over Esperanza in an opening-round game of the Michelle Carew Classic softball tournament Wednesday at Peralta Park.

The junior right-hander drove in all of her team’s runs with a pair of two-out singles.

In the circle, the Princeton commit pitched out of a no-outs, bases-loaded jam by inducing a foul out and a double-play, holding the Aztecs to one run.

The Diablos (13-2-1), who are ranked No. 10 in Orange County, will play Millikan (12-6) at 3:15 p.m. Thursday at Peralta Park.

Millikan defeated No. 4 Huntington Beach 8-0 in a first-round game Wednesday.

No. 9 Esperanza (8-7) will play the Oilers at 2 p.m. Thursday at Canyon High School.

“The biggest thing I keep telling her (Uehara) is that if you work down in the zone, it’s going to be tough to hit,” Mission Viejo coach Clint Watson said. “And when they got those hits in that inning, the ball was up. Then she went back to her routine, just being down in the zone.”

Leadoff hitter Ava Tabangcura was also a huge factor for the Diablos.

Tabangcura walked to lead off the game, stole second and third bases to get into scoring position for Uehara, who drove in her teammate with a two-out single.

The Aztecs got the run back in the second when Jenna Tobar doubled to lead off the inning and scored on Erin Bigani’s two-out single that made the score 1-1.

Uehara was in position to drive in more runs in the third after Tabangcura singled with one out and stole second and No. 2 hitter Sofia Elliot walked.

Tabangcura and Elliott stole second and third on the same pitch and Uehara hit a two-out single, this time scoring Tabangcura and Elliot to give the Diablos a 3-1 lead.

“When I’m in the on-deck circle, I’m just watching how she is pitching,” said Uehara of her hitting approach. “But as soon as I get in there, I just clear my head and just as soon as I see a strike I just go. I was able get on a couple of them and I was lucky they get through.”

The bottom of the third was where Mission Viejo arguably won the game.

Esperanza led off the inning with four consecutive singles, which included an RBI single from Julia Ireland that pulled the Aztecs within a run, 3-2.

The Aztecs still had the bases loaded with no outs when Uehara got the first out on a foul out and then ended the inning with a 1-2-3 double play.

“We went inside and I jammed her and it was a quick bounce back to me,” Uehara said. “So, I just got in and threw it (home). We work on that play a lot too.”

Esperanza’s Taylor Shumaker, the county leader in home runs, went 1 for 3 with a single.

When Esperanza and Diablos met on Feb. 17, Shumaker homered in a 7-3 victory for the Aztecs.

“I’ve seen her in travel (softball) a lot,” Uehara said. “I’ve played her a lot. I just knew I had to keep it low.”

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