HIGHLAND | The noise coming from the Morton bleachers shook the foundation Tuesday night at the Class 4A Highland Sectional.
It was loud. Louder. Then, loudest.
With two outs in the second inning, the Govs' No. 9 hitter Yarieliz Reyes blasted a two-run triple against Lowell in the softball quarterfinal. Suddenly, the score was 4-0.
"I was surprised," Reyes said. "I'd been in a slump. I usually bunt, but this past Sunday I worked with my uncle on extending my arms. When I saw it go over the left fielder's head I was really excited."
Morton won 5-1 and advances to play Munster in Thursday's semifinal. The Mustangs beat West Side 12-0.
It was the first playoff win for Morton coach Matt Barno. His Govs (21-1) were outscored 14-1 in the sectional the past two years.
"When I took this job people told me I was crazy," Barno said. "We weren't very good and I was playing all these freshmen, but I knew we could get to where we are at now."
Morton's Cierra Charbonneau opened the second with a single. Angelica Justiniano grounded to the pitcher who threw to second and the runner beat the throw. After a strikeout, Megan Rogers grounded to second but the throw went sailing to the fence.
A groundout later, Reyes launched her triple.
All four runs were unearned for the Red Devils (10-17).
"That's the story of our life this year," Lowell coach Pete Iussig said. "Unearned runs."
Morton's Vivian Peterson went 2-for-4 with one RBI. Charbonneau was 3-for-3.
"I just tried to keep them off-balanced," said Justiniano, who raised her record to 17-1 in only allowing three hits. "This was a big win for us. We've been working for this the last three years. We just want to keep playing our style of softball and keep this going."
Munster (17-12) scored all 12 runs in the first inning as the Mustangs batted around twice. Against the overmatched Cougars, Munster runners left the base early eight times the rest of the game to keep things in check.
West Side's Jada Davis got both of her team's hits.
"We wanted to win, that's it," Munster coach Beth Thornburg said.
Alyssa Nunez had a two-RBI triple for the 'Stangs and Anna Kaniewski struck out eight batters to pick up the win.