HIGHLAND | The Lowell offense was explosive in a 10-0 win in the Class 4A sectional opener over host Highland Tuesday.
But all pitcher Brandi Faverty would have needed was one run. The junior didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning, striking out seven and walking none over five innings.
"My job is to pitch and their job is to hit," Faverty said. "I was just doing my job."
That job becomes much easier when her teammates pour on the runs.
"When it's a 0-0 game, I feel like I can't let anybody score," Faverty said. "It feels really good to have a cushion behind you."
Lowell will face E.C. Central in the semifinal Thursday. The Cardinals beat West Side 12-11.
Hunter Jusevtich doubled in the first run in the first inning of game one for the Devils. Her two-out line drive to the gap in left-center field scored Alyssa Porkopinski.
Lowell put up two more in the second when sophomore Caitlyn Walter's sacrifice fly scored her big sister Courtney and Kristina Rosenbaum singled in another in the next at bat.
"We've been working on (our offense). It's been a year-long process," coach Paul Iussig said. "We just told the girls they needed to be a little more patient and end up getting a pitch that they can hit."
The flood gates opened in the third. The Red Devils scored five in the frame on five hits and two Trojans errors. Courtney Walter doubled for two more and Morgan O'Hanlon singled in another to finish the scoring.
"It happened exactly like we were hoping," Iussig said. "We try to take it a step up in the sectional. You could be one and done."
Highland threatened in the fifth, getting two runners on base. But Faverty struck out Aleysha Slaven to end the contest.
In the nightcap, E.C. Central used a patient eye at the plate to advance past West Side.
The Cardinals racked up nine walks and took advantage of a plethora of West Side errors, past balls and wild pitches. E.C.C. scored eight runs between the second and fourth innings without even tallying a hit and notched only three hits total in the contest.
The Cougars took 10 walks themselves, and had the tying run at second base after Darniecha Hopson's seventh-inning double. E.C. Central's Janessa Rojas pitched her way out just minutes before dusk.