Notre Dame and Central were locked in a scoreless duel through 4 1/2 innings of Saturday's semifinal game in the SEMO Conference baseball tournament.
Then Notre Dame broke loose for an 8-0 victory that vaulted the top-seeded Bulldogs into Monday's championship game.
"We actually played really well," said Central coach Steve Williams, whose squad is seeded fifth in the nine-team tournament. "It just got away from us at the very end."
The Bulldogs, who improved to 17-1 with the win on their home field, will play second-seeded Kennett for the title at 7 p.m. Monday at Capaha Field.
Defending Class 3 state champion Notre Dame scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, then broke open things with a five-run sixth.
That was more than enough for senior right-hander Colton Young, who fired a three-hitter and struck out 11 against just one walk.
Central's Josh Meyer matched Young through four innings before the Bulldogs got to him in the fifth.
Notre Dame had 10 hits, led by Young, Jake Pewitt and Coby Holland with two each.
Central (12-7) will play sixth-seeded Sikeston at 4:30 p.m. Monday at Capaha Field in the third-place game. Sikeston suffered a 6-3 semifinal loss to Kennett on Saturday.
Fourth-seeded Jackson advanced to the fifth-place game with Saturday's 14-0, five-inning consolation-bracket rout of eighth-seeded New Madrid County Central.
Mason Sander pitched a one-hitter, with three strikeouts and one walk.
The Indians (11-6) had eight hits, led by Dylan Koehler with two. He and Zach McDowell both doubled.
Jackson will take on third-seeded Dexter at 2 p.m. Monday at Capaha Field.
In other consolation-round action Saturday, seventh-seeded Poplar Bluff eliminated ninth-seeded Kelly 4-0, and Dexter later eliminated Poplar Bluff 6-3.
Notre Dame 8, Central 0
WP -- Colton Young. LP -- Josh Meyer. Multiple hits -- Notre Dame: Young 2-4, Jake Pewitt 2-4, Coby Holland 2-3. Records -- Central 12-7, Notre Dame 17-1.
Jackson 14, NMCC 0
WP -- Mason Sander. LP -- Reed. 2B -- Zach McDowell (J), Dylan Koehler (J). Multiple hits -- Jackson: Koehler 2-3. Records -- Jackson 11-6.
-- From staff reports