ST. JOHN | A dry-erase board inside the Lake Central dugout Tuesday read "today is a new day."
Times No. 3 Lake Central took a tough come-from-behind loss at the hands of Crown Point on Monday. Tuesday, things were different.
L.C. cruised to a 5-2 win against No. 2 Portage behind the pitching of Lily Del Toro.
"I'm one of those people that needs to find a rhythm and once I find that rhythm I just go with it," Del Toro said. "It's just a matter of getting the pitches and working the strike zone."
Del Toro retired 12 straight batters — eight via strike out — at one point between the second and sixth innings. She struck out 11 overall.
Portage was only able to get to her early when leadoff hitter Jalise McKnight crossed the plate on Haley Hodges' single in the first inning.
"(The first inning) was just one of those innings when things just happened when you didn't want them to," Del Toro said. "You bounce back and that's really all that matters."
Portage didn't score again until Kiley Jones' RBI triple in the sixth.
"It would've been very easy (for Del Toro) to get everything on top of you there with the way those first three hitters started — single, walk, single," coach Jeff Sherman said, "but she did a great job of settling down."
L.C. (16-7, 6-3) broke it open in the third inning. Portage (12-4, 7-3) committed four consecutive errors and Lake Central capitalized, scoring four unearned runs to jump in front 4-1.
"We are cursed with the fact that we snowball after an error," Portage coach Lisa Hayes said. "Unfortunately, we couldn't dig ourselves out of this one."
Lake Central added a run in the sixth inning on a throwing error. None of L.C.'s runs were earned.