HIGHLAND | Lake Central has more pitchers than Applebee's on a Friday night.
The Indians showed off Indiana's probable top rotation again Friday in the Class 4A Highland Sectional championship game against rival Munster.
Freshman Annabel Karberg kept the train rolling as she fanned 11 Mustangs and only allowed one hit as L.C. won 5-0. It is the Indians third straight sectional title and 17th in school history.
"She has an unbelievable mound presence for a freshman," Munster coach Beth Thornburg said.
Munster (18-13) beat L.C. (26-2) in March by a score of 8-7. This game was much different.
"Yeah, she didn't pitch," Thornburg said of Karberg.
In three shutout wins in the sectional the Indians' pitchers only allowed two hits. How good is L.C.'s staff? Sophomore Lily Del Toro is 8-1 and she did not pitch in the sectional.
"I was trying to work 'em inside and throw the heat, I guess," said Karberg, who has been clocked at 64 miles per hour.
She tried to explain how she got mentally prepared for a sectional championship game, but the words sort of got lost. That's when L.C. coach Jeff Sherman piped in.
"She just described what a gamer is," he said.
The Indians' offense gave the ninth-grader some early breathing room. Lizzie Seymour doubled to open the first inning. Kaitlyn Ranieri doubled her home. Nikki Adams, then, doubled Ranieri home with a two-out double.
And Bridget Boyle singled her home for a 3-0 lead.
Ranieri had a two-run single in the sixth to finish off the scoring.
Lake Central will host Chesterton in Tuesday's regional at L.C. The game will begin at 5 p.m.
Munster's only hit came from sophomore Sadie Conner. Her hit came in the first.
"They were the better team," Thornburg said.
Sherman said his team followed the game plan perfectly.
"It's huge getting the first run of the game," he said. "Scoring first helps the pitcher relax, the defense relax and their coach relax. Only 16 teams in 4A can say they're sectional champions. This never get old.
"This feels just as good as the other two."