POTSDAM -- Up 2-0 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Chatham appeared to be a lock for next weekend's Class C Softball Final Four.
But it wasn't meant to be.
Section X champion St. Lawrence Central rallied to tie the score, then Maggi Yandoh, down to her last strike, came up with a clutch base hit to score Brooke Rubado with the game-winning run as the Larries pulled out a 3-2 victory on Saturday afternoon at SUNY Potsdam.
The loss was especially hard to take for Chatham as St. Lawrence had just two hits off of Panthers pitcher Jenna Skype through the first six innings, but strung together five in the final frame.
"This was a tough one," Chatham coach J.B. Brantley said. "I am extremely proud of the fight this team had. It says a lot about our senior leadership. The seniors will be missed as they have continued to lead our younger girls on and off the field, showing them the ropes of Chatham softball.
"Without this group of seniors, we would not be in the position we were in. These are the types of losses which drive you to work even harder in the offseason so they can become better players moving forward."
The game quickly settled into a pitcher's duel between Skype and St. Lawrence's Makiah Ramsdell, with the game remaining scoreless until the fifth.
Chatham did have its chances to score early in the contest, getting two runners on in three of the first four innings. The Panthers finally got on the board in the fifth when Skype singled, went to second on an infield error and scored on Allyssa Rippel's base hit.
Chatham threatened to break the game open in the top of the seventh, loading the bases with two outs, but the Panthers could only manage one run on a single by Sydney Putnam before Ramsdell retired the side.
Kelsey Waite started the Larries' seventh inning off with a base hit, but consecutive fielder's choice outs put Chatham on the brink of victory. But that's when the bottom fell out for the Panthers.
Marissa Kelley singled to keep the Larries alive and Christy Smith followed with another single, scoring Leah Francis to cut the deficit to 2-1. Sarah Adams was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Madisyn Cheney singled to tied the score at 2-2.
That set the stage for Yandoh, who lined a 2-2 offering to left field to chase home the winning run.
Putnam led Chatham with three singles and an RBI. Skype added three singles, Rippel had two singles and an RBI and Pulver singled.
Cheney had two singles and an RBI for St. Lawrence. Waite contributed two singles.
Skype finished with five strikeouts and no walks, while allowing three runs and seven hits.
Ramsdell struck out 11, walked two and gave up two runs and nine hits.
Chatham finishes with a 21-3 record, winning the Patroon Conference championship and earning its first Section II title since 2013. Brantley was grateful for the contributions his senior class made to the team's success.
"Best of luck to Jenna Skype, Brooke-Lyn Doyle, Allyssa Rippel, Shirley Harvey, Sydney Putnam and Sarah Cartwright next year and I want to thank them for guiding this team this season."