Chantilly's Scarlett Bowen pitched six innings of excellent softball, giving up three hits and striking out six batters in Chantilly's 9-1 victory over Halifax in a Virginia state AAA quarterfinal yesterday at West Springfield.

Chantilly (21-3) advanced to Friday's semifinal at Henrico against Varina, a 3-1 winner over Salem.

"We made some dumb mistakes out there, like getting caught in rundowns and leading off base . . . mental errors," said Chantilly's coach, Chris Ake. "But we still hung together as a team and the girls never let their heads hang down."

The Chargers' offense got started in the second inning after Lisa Miller walked and advanced to second base on Michelle Boeke's bunt. Michelle Andrews's infield shot got past shortstop Kim Lewis, scoring Miller for a 1-0 Chantilly lead.

Andrews came home off Angela Boeke's drive to left field that was misplayed for a 2-0 advantage.

Halifax scored in the fourth with one out. Michelle Davis doubled to right field and went to third on Lewis's single. Sherry Jones's forceout grounder brought Davis home from third.

In the Chantilly fourth, Andrews doubled and, one out later, stole third. Rachel Karl walked before Shannon Williams's single loaded the bases. Carmen Shoffner singled to score Andrews from third, but Karl tried to come home too and got tagged out at the plate.

Williams stole third and Shoffner went to second when a pickoff attempt went astray. Williams then stole home for a 4-1 lead. Kim Lauderdale walked and Shoffner came home on a wild pitch to make it 5-1.

Chantilly built the lead to 6-1 in the fifth. Stephanie Halder replaced Andrews and swatted a double to center. After Angela Boeke's bunt advanced Halder to third, Karl singled to drive her in.

In the sixth, Chantilly put together another three-run rally.

Williams led off with a single and scored off Erin Muma's flare to left field that was misplayed. Muma reached third on a wild pitch to Michelle Shaw, and Shaw scored her with a single. Lauderdale hit into a force play, but stole second and scored on a base hit by Miller.

Chantilly's Williams said initially she and her teammates had trouble getting used to the off-speed offerings of Halifax's Melanie Saunders.

"It took some getting used to, her slower pitching," she said. "I think further south {in the state} they're not used to really fast pitching and her slower pitching was throwing my timing off, at first."

Chantilly's Bowen admitted she was not throwing quite up to her usual speed either.

"I'm not sure if I'm feeling run down because I've got a cold," she said. "But my pitching was not as fast as it usually is."