So, what you're saying is, you actually ARE talking to her just to hit on her because if she says no you're not interested in her any more.
Of course not talking to her if you get rejected will be awkward but if you would keep talking to her you will still only be casual acquaintances which is what you are now anyway.
So you'd say hi, make small talk and that's it. That's not the friendzone and should be doable.
If you worry what she thinks about you even after you got rejected, then maybe you should show her that you're not that kinda person.
Anyway, if you go into it expecting rejection, the chances that that's what you'll get are quite high.
Confidence can make a massive difference.
You've had your last regrets, reached your final depths, deepest pits.
Stepped aside for the world to pass you by, chose to leave the fear.
You are stuck in a world of deadlocks...