HAMMOND | Griffith is peaking at the right time.
The Panthers have hit their stride in the sectional, playing what coach Don Bens calls their "most complete" softball, both in games and practice, despite a lackluster regular season.
The offense was on display Friday, as Griffith pounded Hammond 15-1 in five innings to bring home a third straight sectional title.
"We've lost to some teams that we really shouldn't have and we let them hang around," Bens said. "We're ready to do the job at hand."
The Panthers (6-20) tallied their first run without a hit, as Kailey Shepard walked, reached second on a error, stole third base and scored on a error.
The bulk came in the third inning, though, when Griffith poured in nine runs on only four hits in 15 at bats. Erica Yost singled in a pair of runs, but otherwise the Panthers played station-to-station softball.
"You have no idea how long this run will continue. Sectional (championships) don't come along that often, so when you have the opportunity to take them, you have to seize that opportunity," Bens said. "We did not come into this sectional taking anything for granted at all."
Hammond (1-18) scored a run in its final chance. Veronica Rosa scored on Vanessa Weaver's infield single.
"We have a lot to build on; we'll be fine," Wildcats coach Tom Niksich said. "We still get a run, they're still chanting and they're still upbeat (down 15-0)."
Griffith hosts Hanover Central in Tuesday's regional.
"We're going to have our hands full (with Hanover Central), but I know that if we come out and play like we're capable, anything can happen," Bens said. "We're in the right frame right now, where everybody's focused and everybody knows what we have to do."