LAKE STATION | Abby Bondi felt the nerves of postseason softball flowing through her veins.
In a 2-2 tie between Bishop Noll and Whiting in the bottom of the eighth inning Tuesday, the Oilers' senior still knew what she had to do; step up in the big situation, or play into a ninth inning.
After Michaela Brown doubled to lead off the inning and advanced to third when Jessica Butler reached on an error, Bondi's weakly hit single to shortstop was enough to plate Brown and give the Oilers a 3-2 win in a semifinal game of the Class 2A Lake Station Sectional.
"I was pretty nervous, but we had an opportunity to score, so I had to take advantage of that," Bondi said.
Where Bondi stepped up at the plate for the Oilers (21-4), Mollie Lovasko delivered from the pitching circle.
Lovasko pitched all eight innings, scattered six hits, gave up no earned runs and struck out 10 Noll batters.
"Hats off to Mollie Lovasko," Whiting coach Paul Laub said. "To pitch against this lineup (and give up two unearned runs) is just amazing."
Noll (19-6) struck first, as Elena Sobilo lofted a two-run homer to give the Warriors a 2-0 lead in the top of the third.
Whiting tied it at 2-2 in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI-double from Regina Smith followed by a sacrifice fly from Bondi.
For Whiting, this season has been a huge turnaround from having a losing record in 2012.
"I'm just proud of these kids," Laub said. "To come back and be 21-4 right now is just a credit to their hard work and their desire to win and play together."
Noll coach Ralph Laramie said his team needed to peak at the right time, but also realized beating a team three times in one season is difficult.
"We went on a backslide there for three games," he said. "They know what you've got and we know what they had. They're a good team. It was just a weak ground ball to the infield. That happens."
The Oilers advance to Thursday's championship and will take on the winner of today's Wheeler-Lake Station semifinal.