A USA-365 special report by Mark Smith
|Team (Record) / Inning||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|Lowell's Hunter Jusevitch (2) watches as Brooke Cummins (1) tries for a double play after forcing out base runner Katie Gloff in the second inning of Saturday's 4A sectional championship game in Highland. (All photos by Mark Smith)|
|Lowell center fielder Morgan O'Hanlon makes a diving attempt at grabbing Sadie Connor's base hit in the second inning. Munster led 7-0 after two innings.|
|Lowell coach Pete Iussig talks strategy with junior Alyssa Pokropinski (15), who had a double and a home run in the sectional championship game.|
|Taylor Michalski leads off first base as Alyssa Pokropinski watches the pitch. Michalski was 4-for-5 as Munster rolled to a 9-4 victory.|
|Munster girls including pitcher Carly Murphy (with the trophy) and junior Payton Preboy (with the ball) pose for the camera after sweeping three games in the Class 4A Highland Sectional. The girls celebrated Munster's first sectional win since 2008.|
|Lowell and coach Pete Iussig finished at 15-13 with six starters and both starting pitchers set to return in 2014. (All photos by Mark Smith)|
Friday, May 25, 2013 - 55-degrees at (4A) Highland Sectional Final in Highland, IN
Carly Murphy (10-4) 8K, 1 walk
LP - Brandi Faverty (8-12) 0K, 0 walk (2 inn.)
Taylor Michalski (CF) 4-for-5, triple, 3 runs scored
Taylor Kotzo (SS) 1-for-3, HBP, RBI
Emma Hodges (C) 2-for-4, 2 RBIs
Madelynn Moore (1B) 1-for-4, double, RBI
Katie Gloff (3B) 1-for-4, RBI
Briana Zunica (2B) 2-for-3, 2 RBIs
Paige Kwasigrouch (DH) 0-for-3
Sadie Connor (LF) 2-for-4, RBI
Gina Rice (RF) 0-for-3
Kristina Rosenbaum (2B) 2-for-4
Ali Charters (DH) 1-for-4
Alyssa Pokropinski (1B) 2-for-3, HR, double, walk, 2 RBIs
Hunter Jusevitch (SS) 2-for-3, Sac Fly, RBI
Courtney Walter (RF) 0-for-4
Brooke Cummins (3B-P)3-for-4, double
Morgan O'Hanlon (CF) 3-for-4, RBI
Frankie Rebesco (LF) 0-for-1
Caitlyn Walter (C) 0-for-4
HIGHLAND (5-25-2013) Conventional logic at the Class 4A Highland Sectional last week was that the winner of the quarterfinal between rivals Munster and Lake Central would eventually be the champion.
Lowell tried but they couldn't change the story. Munster's hard-hitting Mustangs paddled out eight hits in the first two innings Saturday morning and when the dust cleared, the Lady ponies were well on their way to a 9-4 win over Lowell in the Highland sectional championship game.
The Devils were shaky from the 11 a.m. start. Taylor Michalski's leadoff single was thrown back into the infield and fumbled, allowing her to go to second base. Lowell starting pitcher Brandi Faverty then hit Taylor Kotzo with a pitch and Emma Hodges lined an RBI single to right field.
Munster freshman clean up batter Madelynn Moore popped up and Lowell infielders Kristina Rosenbaum and Hunter Jusevitch collided, allowing the ball to hit the ground. Fortunately, the Devils got a force play at second base, leaving runners at first and third.
But Munster's Katie Gloff and Brianna Zunica both sliced RBI singles to right field to make the score 3-0. One out later Sadie Connor's RBI single made it 4-0 after one-half inning.
Faverty, the losing pitcher in a 1-0 loss to Munster on April 30, was hit hard by the Mustangs this time. Hodges, Moore and Zunica all had RBI hits in the second inning as Munster (24-7) increased the lead to 7-0 before 12 noon.
Lowell relief pitcher Brooke Cummins came in to start the third inning, but consecutive errors and an RBI single by Michalski made the score 8-0. Kotzo's fifth inning RBI single increased the score to 9-0 before Cummins shut out Munster the rest of the way.
Lowell swung the bats well all day. In the fifth, Ali Charters and Alyssa Pokropinski led off with a single and a double before Jusevitch's sacrifice fly ball and Cummins RBI single scored the Devils first two runs.
In the sixth. Pokropinski hit a line drive two-run homer over the center field fence. Jusevitch singled with one out and Cummins singled with two out, but Courtney Walter popped up to end Lowell's last scoring inning.
Munster, which won a sectional for the first time since 2008, topped Lowell 15-0 and 1-0 on their way to the Northwest Crossroads Conference championship this spring. The Mustangs, who only have three seniors, advanced to play Portage (20-6) in the 4A regional in search of their first-ever state finals berth.
Lowell, which had 10 juniors on the playoff roster, committed an unofficial five errors in the title game and had 11 boo-boos in three sectional games, leaving the girls with plenty to work on over the summer.
SECTIONAL NOTES: Lowell junior Brandi Faverty and sophomore Brooke Cummins combined on a no-hit game as Lowell rolled over East Chicago 12-1 in five innings in the Friday (5-24-2013) sectional semifinal.
The only starters Lowell graduates this month are starting outfielders Morgan O'Hanlon and Courtney Walter. In her final game, O'Hanlon was 3-for-4 against Munster. Walter was 2-for-3 in Lowell's 10-0 sectional quarterfinal victory over Highland.
Munster's seniors are starting infielder Briana Zunica, starting catcher Emma Hodges and star pitcher Carly Murphy.
2013 LOWELL (15-13)
Coach Pete Iussig
3-30-13 (W) 2-0 at Valparaiso
4-1-13 (W) 2-1 Lake Central
4-2-13 (L) 2-3 KANKAKEE VALLEY
4-3-13 (W) 7-3 Boone Grove
4-4-13 (W) 7-6 ANDREAN
4-5-13 (W) 3-2 HIGHLAND
4-13 (W) 8-6 West Lafayette
4-13 (L) 4-6 West Lafayette
4-15 (L) 6-7 at GRIFFITH
4-21 (W) 3-1 KANKAKEE VALLEY
4-23 (L) 1-5 ANDREAN
4-24 (L) 1-2 Hanover Central
4-25 (L) 0-15 (5 inn.) at MUNSTER (supsended from 4-22)
4-26 (L) 3-4 HIGHLAND
4-29 (L) 0-1 MUNSTER
5-1 (W) 2-1 HOBART
5-2 (L) 0-10 Chesterton
Twin Lakes Invitational
5-3 (W) 2-1 (8 inn.) Benton Central
5-4 (W) 8-4 Western
5-4 (L) 2-3 Frontier
5-6 (L) 2-9 HOBART
5-7 (W) 6-5 GRIFFITH
5-8 (L) 2-3 HOBART
5-11 (W) 14-1 (5 inn.) Merrillville
5-13 (W) 9-3 at Morton
5-15 (L) 0-6 Lowell
Highland (4A) Sectional
5-21 (W) 10-0 Highland (5 inn.)
5-24 (W) 12-1 East Chicago (5 inn.)
5-25 (L) 4-9 Munster (title)
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Revised: May 27, 2013.