HAMMOND | Amongst the jumping, laughing, crying mob of red-clad Lake Station softball players celebrating the present, pitcher Shelby Jorgensen held a reminder of the past.
She had the Lake Station team T-shirt from 2002, the last, and only, other time the Eagles had won a softball sectional championship.
After Friday's 15-0 victory against River Forest in the Class 2A Bishop Noll Sectional, the team is due for a new commemorative T-shirt.
"It's the greatest feeling in the world," Jorgensen said. "It's the greatest feeling ever."
Jorgensen threw a no-hitter in the win and only walked one batter. When the last out was recorded, her teammates mobbed her in the circle to celebrate the sectional championship.
"It's just a big rush," Jorgensen said. "I didn't know what to do and I can't stop crying. It's so exciting."
But Jorgensen wasn't excited about the no-hitter. She can't even remember if this is her second or third of the season.
She didn't even know she threw a no-hitter until coach Linda Llewellyn told her after the game. All that mattered to her was the win.
"She's been doing a great job for us all year long," Llewellyn said. "She's amazing."
The Eagles put runs on the board early for Jorgensen, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first and never looking back, capped by a six-run fifth inning.
Caitlin Acker went 3-3 with a double, two RBIs, and three runs scored, despite River Forest trying to intentionally walk her during every at-bat.
"The pitcher just didn't do what she was supposed to," Acker said. "On that last one, they gave me an outside pitch that was right there and I had to swing. I had to do it."
Lake Station will host Rochester on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the Regional.
When Llewellyn was asked if Jorgensen would pitch Tuesday, the two had one final dialogue that summed up their enthusiasm.
"What do you think, Shelby, are you ready?" Llewellyn asked her pitcher.
"Heck yea. Of course," she responded.