HIGHLAND | Saturday's Highland softball sectional final was a story of a youth versus experience -- on the mound, at least.
Lake Central's Bridget Boyle, a junior, dominated the Highland lineup en route to an 11-0 win. The Trojans' pair of freshman pitchers -- Lauren Bultema and Brittany Fowler -- showed promise for the future, but fell short of a sectional crown.
"I thought Bridget did an excellent job today," Indians coach Jeff Sherman said. "I'm willing to bet she was around the 80 percent mark as far as first-pitch strikes today."
Boyle, as a result, was in control for most the contest. She finished with six strikeouts over five innings, allowing one hit and one walk.
"Pretty much from the beginning, I had it," Boyle said. "I came out confident."
Boyle stayed on the outside corner for most of the day.
"I know the strengths and weaknesses of some of Highland's hitters," she said. "We like to go outside."
The win gives L.C. back-to-back sectional championships for the first time since its string of six in a row from 2000 to 2006.
"We don't how good we are, yet," Sherman said. "All we know right now is that for the next few hours we will savor this championship and then we're going to turn our attention to the Bulldogs of Crown Point."
Lake Central (27-5) opened up the scoring with a eight-run third inning in which the Indians tallied six hits and brought 11 batters to the plate. RBIs were notched by Elizabeth Seymour, Samantha Terry, Kayla Bishton and Jessica Haskins.
"We were just waiting for a good pitch to drive up the middle," Sherman said. "We were able to string a few things together there."
Only five of six of those runs were earned, though.
"I couldn't have asked for more from (Bultema and Fowler) today," Highland coach Erin Zeller said. "They're getting their experience now."
Zeller admitted her team may have let down a bit after a 9-8 extra-inning win over Lowell in the semifinals.
"After last night's big win, we just came out a little bit flat," she said. "It's tough to win if you don't score any runs."
Samantha Terry sealed the win for the Indians with a three-run home run in the bottom half of the fifth. Seymour was 3-for-3 with two runs and an RBI.