HIGHLAND | Munster jumped in front and never looked back in its 12-2 six-inning win over Morton in the Highland sectional semifinals Friday.
The Mustangs will meet Lowell in the finals. The Red Devils topped East Chicago Central 12-1 in five innings in the nightcap.
Taylor Michalski led the game off with a double off the left field fence for Munster. Taylor Kotzo doubled Michalski home and the Mustangs were off to the races. By the time the inning was over, Munster led 5-0 and Governors pitcher Anglica Justiniano was playing the outfield.
"Anytime you get a lead, it gives you a level of comfort," Munster coach Beth Thornburg said. "We hit the ball hard early on."
The Mustangs added three more in the second, including two on Kaitlynn Gloff's double. Sadie Connor scored in the third. But then the bats went cold for two innings.
Morton got a pair back in the fourth. The first came on Alyssa Garvey's single and the second on Cynthia Campos's ground out.
"(The Governors) had nine hits against us the first time we played," Thornburg said. "They go up there swinging the bats and you've got to give them some credit."
Kotzo homered for Munster in the sixth. The solo shot bounced off the top of the center field fence and over.
"It felt pretty good, but I wasn't sure — especially with the wind blowing in today," Kotzo said. "I'm pretty sure it was a change-up and I recognized it and just waited back."
Paige Kwasigroch's RBI single sealed the game for the Mustangs.
"At this point you're just looking to win games," Thornburg said. "We got a win and that's a good thing."
Lowell tallied 10 in the first innings, including at least one run from each player in the lineup. Brandi Faverty and Brooke Cummins combined to no-hit the Cardinals over five innings.