The sophomore right-hander shook of an early case of nerves and settled down to throw a complete-game two-hitter to pace the Bulldogs to a 9-0 win against the Centaurs at McCambridge Park.
Schafer struck out seven and walked three to gain the win.
“I was nervous when I went out there for the first inning,” Schafer said. “But I just told myself to concentrate, and my teammates told me I could do it. That helped a lot.”
The win put Burbank (22-2) — the No. 2 seed — into Tuesday’s second round. The Bulldogs will take on Rancho Alamitos at a site to be determined.
Rancho Alamitos (19-6-1) — the Garden Grove League champion — defeated Irvine, 2-0, in a first-round game Friday.
Peraza, who has been a workhorse for the Bulldogs this season, didn’t play because of soreness in her right pitching arm. She threw 10 innings May 8 in a 1-0 Pacific League win against Burroughs in the regular-season finale.
“We are hoping that Kristin will be back and she’ll be able to pitch for us on Tuesday,” Burbank Coach Nicole Drabecki said. “But if she isn’t, than Megan has shown that she can go out there and do a good job for us.”
Peraza has a 21-2 record, a 0.44 earned-run average and has struck out 301 of the 498 batters she has faced.
Schafer got into a little trouble in the first inning. She gave up a one-out walk and a two-out single to put Culver City (14-11) runners at second and third. But she got out of the jam by getting Christina Schlothauer to ground out.
After the first, however, Schafer settled in and allowed just one hit over the final six innings.
With its ace on the bench, Drabecki said her offense needed to step it up and support Schafer.
The Bulldogs did just that, bringing 11 batters to the plate in the second inning to score seven runs on five hits.
“I told the team that we needed a big inning to get us going, and to give Megan some confidence,” said Drabecki, whose squad hammered out 11 hits. “That second inning is what did it for us.”
The inning provided its share of big hits for Burbank, including a two-run scoring single by Lexi Hernandez. Kassi Smith and Kristina Ortiz had run-scoring singles, Daisy Beltran had a run-scoring triple and Schafer had a hit in the inning.
Burbank added single runs in the third and fifth innings.
Smith, the No. 9 hitter, was two for three with a triple and three runs batted in. Hernandez was two for four.
All nine of Burbank’s starting lineup had at least on hit.
The Bulldogs could have scored more runs, but two baserunners were thrown out at home and one was thrown out at third.
“I’m proud of the way this team stepped up [Friday],” Drabecki said. “That’s the way we want to play.”
Burbank qualified for the playoffs by finishing second in the Pacific League.