WATSONVILLE — Watsonville High sophomore pitcher Jessica Rodriguez has learned plenty in just four Monterey Bay League Gabilan division games.

She learned another lesson on Thursday after giving up a two-run homer in the first inning.

“I can’t miss a pitch or they’ll jump on me,” Rodriguez said.

She’s a quick study.

Rodriguez shook off the early-game mistake and tossed a shutout the rest of the way, while fanning 15 batters, to lead the Wildcatz to a 4-2 league win over Christopher High in Watsonville.

Christopher junior infielder Kalena Paredes hammered a laser over the left centerfield fence onto Riverside Drive to put the Cougars up 2-0 but Rodriguez responded by striking out four of the next five batters she faced to regain control of the game.

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas commit allowed just six hits, two of which came in the seventh inning, and walked none. Rodriguez gave credit to her coach and catcher, the father-daughter duo of Scott and Juliana Wilson, for guiding her through the Cougars’ brutal lineup, which entered Thursday’s MBL-G showdown averaging nearly 10 runs per game.

Coach Wilson deflected the praise to his players.

“It’s a joint effort,” the coach said. “Jessica is definitely the show and [Juliana] runs the show.”

Christopher (13-4, 2-1) got the go-ahead run to the plate with only one out in the final inning but Rodriguez recorded her 14th and 15th strikeouts to move Watsonville to 14-0 overall and 4-0 in MBL-G play. It is the Wildcatz’s best start to a season since the turn of the century and it has them ranked among the top 50 teams in the state, according to maxpreps.com.

Not bad for a team which many expected to struggle in the Gabilan division after being moved up following back-to-back Pacific division championships.

“I definitely did not expect this because we lost some really good seniors last year but we’ve got a couple of key freshman and we’ve put it all together,” said Watsonville junior shortstop Savanah Quintana, who went 2-for-2 with two scored runs and a walk. “That’s how we’ve got to where we are right now.”

Quintana sparked the Watsonville offense with a double in the bottom of the first inning and came around to score on Juliana Wilson’s RBI double. An error in the outfield allowed Wilson, a sophomore committed to the University of Central Florida, to come all the way home to tie it up at 2-all.

Watsonville junior third baseman Zaira Pena knocked in senior outfielder Nicole Wilson in the third inning with an RBI single and Juliana Wilson brought home Quintana on a sacrifice fly to give Rodriguez the two-run cushion.

It turned out to be more than enough.

“We’re all super happy about where we are but we have tougher games coming up, too,” Rodriguez said.

Tuesday might be Watsonville’s biggest test of the season.

The Wildcatz will travel to Veteran’s Memorial Park in Hollister to face two-time defending MBL-G and Central Coast Section Division I champion San Benito — a ten-time CCS champ — at 4:30 p.m.

The Haybalers thumped Watsonville, 16-0, last season but Rodriguez and Co. said they’re ready this time around.

“I think we’re up for the challenge,” Rodriguez said. “I think me and teammates are excited to play them. We’ve heard good things about them, too, and we’re doing good. We want to beat them.”

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