UNION-ENDICOTT - Corning’s Laura Bennett fanned 10 batters and Kalea Faulk ripped a two-run single to catapult the Hawks over John Jay-East Fishkill 3-1 Saturday at Union-Endicott to win the first regional title in program history and advance to the state final four.

“This is my 29th year coaching high school sports and you dream of this as a coach,” Corning head coach Mike Johnston said. “There’s so many people -- my colleagues -- that have never been there and I was one of those people until today. It means a lot as a coach, but I know it probably means more to the players right now, and we’re proud of them.”

Bennett’s stuff was electric in the circle again, allowing only three hits in the complete game shutout against Section 1’s John Jay, who was the consensus No. 1 ranked team in class AA by the New York State Sportswriters Association going into the contest.

“I think we did a really great job pitching today and with the pitch calls I think we did a great job executing it,” said Bennett.

Bennett has been a constant all season long for the Hawks, but has turned it on in the three-game postseason so far, pitching 21 innings with 28 strikeouts and only three free passes. The soft-spoken senior contributed her success to putting in the time and effort day in and day out.

“I try and work hard every day at [pitching],” said Bennett. “It’s important to keep working hard every day and get my work in.”

John Jay pitcher Megan Schumaker, who is committed to Division I Missouri and showed 68 miles per hour on her fastball, according to Johnston, matched Bennett the first three innings. She allowed only one hit the first time through the Hawks order and struck out four.

Corning relied on in-game adjustments the second time around the order to combat the power fastball of Schumaker.

“We always try to make adjustments,” Johnston said. “We don’t want to make adjustments later in the game, we want to make adjustments right now. Our kids were able to do that. We felt the key was that we need to put the barrel on the ball and let the ball do the work.”

The Hawks’ adjustments paid off, as they were finally able to get to Schumaker in the fourth inning.

Mikayla Brucie started the frame off with a bunt single followed by a bunt from Ellie Daugherty.  Schumaker fielded the bunt cleanly, but made an errant throw to first that allowed the Corning runners to advance to second and third.

Laura Bennett helped her own cause with an RBI bunt single that Brucie scored on and Bennett stole second to set Faulk up with two runners in scoring position.

Faulk ripped a ball to center field that scored both runners and gave Corning a 3-0 lead.

“I knew I had runners on in scoring position, so I knew I needed to just put the barrel on the ball,” said Faulk. “I didn’t need to overpower her, I just needed to put the barrel on the ball and hit something to score my runners.”

The sophomore catcher has been on fire this postseason for the Hawks, hitting .625 (5-8) with five RBI in three postseason games.

“She’s been hot for us these last couple games, having three huge hits for us in the last two games. She’s a three-year varsity player as a 10th grader. She’s a leader behind the plate and she sees everything and gets everybody where they need to be.”

John Jay scored its lone run in the top of the sixth inning. Kelly Rattigan doubled on a fly ball to left field to start off the inning, just out of the reach of Jenna Stansfield. A ground out advanced Rattingan to third with one out and Dominique Russo hit a ball to shortstop that took an unfriendly hop on Atalyia RIjo that allowed Rattigan to score.

Bennett promptly struck out the next two batters swinging to shut down any John Jay momentum.

Schumaker reached on a dropped third strike to leadoff the final inning for John Jay, but Bennett sat the next three batters in order via strikeout to secure the regional title.

Corning will play Section 8 champion East Meadow in a semifinal at 11:30 a.m. June 15 at Moreau Recreational Park in South Glens Falls. The winner of that game will face either Victor or Cicero-North Syracuse at 4 p.m. in the state finals.

“They’re good,” said Johnston of East Meadow. “We’ll do our homework and talk to some people down in that part of the state. At this point in time, it comes down to pitching and you have to make plays in the field and find a way to scratch runs across.”