Peru played its best game of the season last week in the Section VII championship game against Plattsburgh High, but the Indians were unable to carry that momentum into Monday's regional semifinal bout with Canton.
The Golden Bears defeated Peru, 8-1, to advance to the NYSPHSAA Class B softball regional finals, where they will face Mechanicville.
"Once you get to this level, all of the teams are good, and you never know what to expect," Canton coach Wayne Willette said. "We just come prepared to play our game, and whatever happens happens."
Led by ace pitcher Kacie Wentworth, Canton (20-1) didn't allow a hit until the bottom of the sixth inning when Brianna Padron drove in Linzee Wright for Peru's only run.
Wentworth recorded five strikeouts to add to her impressive season total of 218. The Indians (15-4) made their fair share of contact with Wentworth's pitches, but Canton's defense was sharp.
"I thought we hit Wentworth well," Peru coach Jason Brown said. "But every ball we hit, we kind of hit right at them, and they made the plays."
Wentworth, a four-year varsity player, will pitch for Division I's Sacred Heart next season.
"She's just been so solid for us, offensively and defensively," Willette said. "Just unbelievable (offensive) totals she's had in her career.
"And pitching-wise, she's just been outstanding."
Wentworth drove in three runs on two singles, and teammate Paige Chase added a 3-for-3 campaign at the plate, also contributing an RBI.
Canton's Emily Rexford pitched in with an RBI single, and Mackenzie Lennox and Kaeli Mace had a hit apiece for Canton.
"We have a lot of offensive weapons," Willette said.
Dani Dayton took the loss at the mound, striking out six Golden Bear batters.
Peru committed two errors to Canton's one, and the Indians gave up nine hits.
"I thought we played fairly well, but we made a few mistakes," Brown said. "For the most part, Canton was just more ready to play than we were.
"We met our goals, to make it to the regional round. Obviously, we didn't want to lose in the regional round, but we played our best game against Plattsburgh, and we have a strong group returning next year."
Canton 8, Peru 1
Canton 001 421 0 — 8 9 1
Peru 000 001 0 — 1 1 2
Wentworth and Rexford. Dayton and Martineau. WP- Wentworth. LP- Dayton.