ELVERSON — Chambersburg put its first six batters on base to put the pressure on Nazareth in the top of the first inning.
And the Trojans never let up.
The Blue Eagles could not find a way to get back into the game and Chambersburg left Twin Valley H.S. with a 9-1 victory in a PIAA Class 6A softball quarterfinal game Thursday afternoon.
That pushes the Trojans (22-3) into the state semifinals on Monday against unbeaten North Penn (26-0), which ripped Hazleton 18-0 in the quarterfinals. The site and time are to be determined.
“We were quietly confident, but we didn’t take them lightly,” Chambersburg third baseman Saleen Null said. “We started with high energy and tried to keep that going.”
The game began on an infield hit by Bree Paetow, a walk to Karley Skultety and an RBI single by Sam Paetow. An error on a ball hit by Addison Gsell loaded the bases.
Null then ripped a single to center that brought in two runs and when the ball skipped past the centerfielder, Gsell sped home for a 4-0 lead.
“When we start like that, it puts pressure on the other team,” Trojan coach Chris Skultety said. “With our hitting and baserunning and our defense playing like it does, if (the opponent) gets behind, they usually struggle.”
Chambersburg scored one run in the second when Bree Paetow got another infield single, stole second and raced home on another base hit by Sam Paetow, who hit the first pitch on each of her first two at-bats. For the game, she was 4-for-4 with four runs batted in.
That knocked out starter Kylie Grover, who was replaced by fellow freshman Avery Kauffman. In the third, the Trojans got to Kauffman, too.
Abagail Newman lined a single to left to lead off, and one out later, Carly Benedict and Bree Paetow laid down back-to-back bunts for base hits to load the bases.
That brought up Sam Paetow again. This time she took one strike, then lashed a hit to right. Two runs came home, and Bree Paetow scored when the ball was misplayed by the rightfielder.
That made the score 8-1. The Blue Eagles scored once in the top of the third, but it could have worse.
Natalie Chloros led off with a double to right-center, but she was picked off by catcher Sam Paetow on a bullet throw to second.
“We saw that she was taking a big lead,” Paetow said, “and we thought Bree (the second baseman) could sneak in behind her.”
Nazareth got a single from Shauna McNamee and a single by Cassie Zellner, and the run scored when the ball was mishandled in right field.
Null said, “It was definitely good to come right back and score after they did.”
The Trojans’ final run came in the fifth when Karley Skultety picked on a 2-2 pitch and drilled a home run just over the fence in left-center.
Kylee Miller, working with that early cushion, did her job on the mound. She allowed eight hits and no walks in six innings, striking out four. Kori Leedy came in to pitch the seventh and racked up three strikeouts.
Coach Skultety said, “We know we don’t have a pitcher out there throwing 65 (miles per hour), but the defense made the plays and that’s why we are where we are. Their pitchers were pretty good, but we got to them and they made a mistake or two and we took advantage.”
All in all, it was a pretty fun day for the Trojans.
“I don’t think the smile left my face all day,” Sam Paetow said.
NOTES: Null had 2 hits and 2 RBIs, and Bree Paetow was 3-for-4 … The Trojans collected 15 hits … Avery Bartha was 3-for-3 for the Blue Eagles and McNamee and Zellner each had 2 hits … Chambersburg had only one error and Bree Paetow made one excellent catch of a smoked line drive … The Trojans last reached the PIAA semifinals in 2016 and 2017, falling both times to Hempfield Area … Cumberland Valley, a 14-5 winner over Haverford, will take on Hempfield Area in the other semifinal Monday.