PLATTSBURGH — It was business as usual for the top-ranked and unbeaten Chatham softball team when it jumped out to a 3-0 first-inning lead against Saranac on Wednesday.
The Chiefs then got the Panthers’ attention.
High School Sports Magazine
Saranac rallied to tie the game in the third before Chatham righted the ship and went on to an 8-3 victory in an NYSPHSAA Class B regional final at Cardinal Park.
“One or two plays here or there made the difference,” Saranac coach Sam Campbell said.
Chatham (24-0) broke on top in the bottom of the first when Caitlin Gilligan singled in two runs and Hannah Gregg followed with a sacrifice fly.
Hard-throwing Kayla Doty held the Section VII champions off the board over the first two innings while striking out four.
The Chiefs, however, went to work in the third.
Beth Plumadore walked, and Kourtnie Campbell rapped a one-out, RBI double. Tori Trim followed with an RBI single and took second on an outfield error. Doty got the second out in the inning before Ashley Terry drilled an RBI double to tie the game.
“We hit every ball hard in the third inning,” Sam Campbell said. “They jumped out to a 3-0 first-inning lead and maybe relaxed a little. That’s hard not to do when you have been as successful as they have been.”
The Panthers regained the lead, at 4-3, in the bottom of the third when Michaela Smith led off with a walk and later scored on an error.
Saranac had a chance to retake the lead in the fourth. Sam Aierle reached on an infield hit, took second on Emma Webster’s sacrifice bunt and moved to third on Kaitlyn Guynup’s single. Guynup then stole second to give the Chiefs runners on second and third with two out. Doty, however, ended the threat with a strikeout.