HAMMOND | After Lake Station beat Wheeler 2-0 at the Class 2A Bishop Noll softball sectional game, both coaches and dugouts remained emotional long after the last out.
Lake Station's players couldn't wipe the smiles off their faces and coach Linda Llewellyn got choked up when explaining what her team's upset victory meant, while Bearcats coach Marc Bruner still had fresh tears in his eyes from trying to comfort some of his players after the loss.
"I can't even put it into words," Llewellyn said. "It's great for our program. It's great for our kids. It's going to give them more confidence that they can do anything they set their minds to and they did that. They did that tonight."
Lake Station (17-9) jumped out to an early lead in the first when, with runners on first and second, Caitlin Acker smoked a ball to right-center field that bounced off the very top of the wall, missing a three-run home run by inches.
"Actually in a way, I'm almost glad it didn't go over because we didn't get that big lead," Llewellyn said. "It would've been great (if the ball went over the fence). It would've probably given me a few more years on my life, but everything worked out."
Angela Aguilar scored, but Ashley Jorgensen failed to touch second base, and had to come back, causing Acker to be thrown out between first and second and the Eagles to score one run in the inning.
That was all Lake Station pitcher Shelby Jorgensen needed. She didn't give up a hit until the fifth inning, and only allowed two runners to advance into scoring position. She gave up four hits, struck out three, and had no walks in her shutout.
"I was really confident," Jorgensen said. "On the way here, everyone was talking about how we're a team, we're going to work together and we're going to get the win, and sure enough, we got it."
Bruner was very impressed with Jorgensen's drop ball, saying that it had improved significantly since the last time his team faced her.
"We knew what she was going to throw, and she still beat us with it," Bruner said. "That's the sign of a good pitcher."
Lake Station tacked on another run in the seventh when Aguilar hit a single up the middle that brought in Tonya Blair.
"They've arrived now," Bruner said. "It's the feel-good story I didn't want to continue, but it continued."