Softball: Lake Station stuns Wheeler to win sectional semifinal
By John O’Malley Post-Tribune correspondent May 23, 2012 11:20PM
Updated: July 3, 2012 9:24AM
HAMMOND — With three strikeouts, Lake Station pitcher Shelby Jorgensen wasn’t exactly overpowering.
The sophomore righthander was definitely effective, dominant and efficient, leading the Eagles to a 2-0 victory over Wheeler at the Class 2A Bishop Noll Sectional Wednesday.
“We’ve faced her before and she had the best stuff, but her stuff was even better today than it was then,’’ Wheeler coach Marc Bruner said. “Her drop ball was very effective today. We had only two or three balls we could drive all day.’’
Lake Station (17-9) awaits the winner of today’s River Forest-Bowman Academy game in Friday’s championship game at 5 p.m. If Lake Station wins Friday, it would earn its first sectional crown since 2002.
“It means a lot (to us),’’ said Jorgensen, who allowed only three hits, made six put-outs from the circle and didn’t walk a batter.
“We’re playing Friday and we’re all ready. We’ve been talking about it all week and everyone has really been supportive of us.’’
Lake Station coach Linda Llewellyn was overcome with emotion as she talked about her team’s upset win over the Bearcats (19-11).
“I can’t even begin to put it into words what this means for our program and for our kids,’’ she said. “No matter what happened, everyone stayed united as a team, stay focused and we were able to pull this out.’’
Wheeler pitcher Nickole Finch undoubtedly deserved a better fate. Finch scattered six hits, fanned 12, but walked three — including two in the top of the seventh inning when an error and a single helped give the Eagles a 2-0 lead.
Lake Station scored a run in the first frame as Caitlin Acker hit the top of the right field fence — missing a three-run homer by inches.
Angela Aguilar later scored after drawing a one-out walk prior to base hits by Ashlinn Jorgensen and Acker. Acker ended up being thrown out going back to first base when Jorgensen had to return to second after missing the base.
Bruner blamed himself for the Eagles’ first run.
“The first run is on me,’’ he said. “I had a game plan to pitch to (Acker) and we went away from it. The pitch we wanted to throw was (Nickole’s) drop ball. I called for a fastball and that girl is going to crush a fastball.’’