MOREAU -- It took Chatham a couple of innings to get its bats going in Thursday's Class C state regional game against Ticonderoga at Moreau Rec, but once the Panthers got their timing down there was no stopping them.
With nine players collecting at least one hit, the Panthers rolled to a 14-2 victory over the Section VII champs to earn a spot in Saturday's regional final. Chatham (21-2) will play St. Lawrence of Section X at SUNY Potsdam at 1 p.m., with the winner advancing to the state Final Four on June 15 at Moreau Rec.
The Panthers finished with 18 hits, but coach J.B. Brantley said it took some time for his hitters to adjust to the pitching style of Ticonderoga starter Samantha Montville.
"Our girls are geared to just let it go and now it becomes mentally tougher to be able to stay back and to be able to drive the ball and hit the ball hard," Brantley said. "We tried to focus on hitting the ball the other way and when you do that it kind of makes you stay back a little.
"It was hit and miss here and there, we stung some balls here and there and we put some hits together in that one inning. It took us a little while to get our timing down after getting geared up for the game the other day. We saw something a little different today, but all good teams have to adapt."
Chatham did get a run on two hits in the first inning, but went quietly in the second. It wasn't until the third inning that its bats really came to life. That's when the Panthers plated six runs on seven hits, with Adryanna Jennings' two-run double the key blow in the uprising. Alyssa Rippel had an RBI double and Jenna Skype, Haley Pulver and Erin Madsen each had a run-scoring single in the frame.
The Panthers got four more in the fifth, highlighted by a two-run double off the bat of Brooke-Lyn Doyle, then after Ticonderoga plated two runs in the top of the sixth, Chatham closed the show with three in the home half of the inning. The game was stopped in the sixth because of the mercy rule.
Doyle finished with a 3 for 4 day, which included a triple, double, single and two RBI. Rippel had two doubles, a single and an RBI, Skype a double, single and two RBI, Jennings a double, single and three RBI, Sydney Putnam and Madsen two singles and an RBI apiece, Shirley Harvey two singles and Abby Taylor and Haley Pulver a single and an RBI each.
Saidi St. Andrews and Lauren Dixon both doubled for Ticonderoga. Jade Charboneau added three singles.
Skype went the distance for the win, allowing six hits and two runs with five strikeouts and one walk.
"She's battle tested," Brantley said. "At no point was I nervous when they scored a couple of runs. She battles, she has strong defense behind her and they (Ticonderoga) are sectional champions for a reason. It wasn't going to be easy."
Montville, Anna Whitman and Andrea Paige shared mound duties for the Sentinels, allowing 14 runs and 18 hits with two strikeouts and three walks.
Chatham will now set its sights on a solid St. Lawrence team, which is currently ranked No. 7 in the state in Class C with a 17-1 record.
Brantley admits to not knowing a great deal about St. Lawrence, but expects a tough game.
"Like I've told the girls, when you get to this point everybody should be good," Brantley said. "Everybody should be able to execute, things like that. It all comes own to execution. If you don't execute in these kind of games things don't usually work out well in the end. You just have t go out there and lay the games and try to play mistake free.
"I know St. Lawrence had a good record and looks like they have a dominant pitcher based on some numbers that I've seen. It's going to be tough. They put up runs and have only one loss. We're going to have to go beat them."