Softball: Munster KOs defending sectional champ Lake Central
By John O’Malley Post-Tribune correspondent May 20, 2013 10:10PM
Munster celebrates after defeating Lake Central 4-0 at Highland High School on Monday May 20, 2013. | Jim Karczewski~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 22, 2013 6:34AM
HIGHLAND — After a pair of 5-0 losses to Lake Central in the Class 4A Highland Sectional the past two years, Munster’s Carly Murphy yearned for a more favorable outcome.
“This year, I just kind of came into the game with a really different approach,” Murphy said after leading the Mustangs (22-7) to a 4-0 victory over three-time defending champ Lake Central on Monday.
“The last two years, I came in here super nervous and uptight. This year, I came in thinking: ‘I’m prepared, already. I can’t do anything more at this point.’ I knew I just had to go out there and throw my game.”
The senior scattered five hits, fanned four and walked none. Her nasty changeup caused the Indians (23-7) fits as they lost to Munster for the second time this spring.
“I thought things got easier as the game went on,” Murphy said. “When your defense and offense is playing like that, there’s no reason not to have confidence.”
Munster coach Beth Thornburg praised her team and Murphy.
“It’s definitely the best game we’ve played all year,” she said. “Carly got behind only one hitter all day. When she gets ahead in the count, is able to hit her spots and throw different pitches, she’s able to keep them off-balance.”
Munster left nine runners on base, but Murphy received the only help she needed in the bottom of the second when Sadie Conner, the No. 8 hitter, drove in two runs with a double.
“Sometimes your big dogs aren’t going to take the collar, so you need other kids to step up,” Thornburg said.
Junior Taylor Michalski went 3-for-4, plating a run with a surprise bunt in the bottom of the sixth inning. Madelynn Moore, who had two hits, added an RBI single.
It was a disappointing finish for LC, which loses only three seniors.
Those seniors can hold their heads up high. They won 99 games, a trio of sectional crowns and made two appearances in the final four.
“We just told them not to let a day like today overshadow all the success that we’ve had over the course of the careers of these young women,” LC coach Jeff Sherman said. “They’ve won so many big games.”
Even when LC was down to its last out, Sherman remained positive.
“I never thought for a minute we were out of it,” he said. “Until the 21st out is made, we still think we have a chance to win.”