Wake Forest-Rolesville and West Johnston advanced to the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A softball semifinals on Tuesday night with shutout victories.
Wake Forest (18-3) beat Middle Creek 2-0 while West Johnston (16-4) shut out Scotland 5-0.
Their best-of-3 semifinal series is expected to start on Thursday
The Cougars’ Tor DeLuke scored in the fourth inning on a passed ball and added its other run in the fifth when Allison Scarboro was caught in a run down between third and home and was awarded the plate for interference.
Middle Creek’s Camille Hobson reached base in the top of the seventh with one out. The next batter for the Mustangs, Lauren Panella, fired a shot to right field, but Wake Forest-Rolesville senior Leah Siver made a leaping catch for the second out and prevented Hobson from advancing.
Wake Forest-Rolesville pitcher Brittaney Dahle got the final out on strikes for her 12th strikeout of the game.
West blanks Scotland: Free-swinging West Johnston took advantage of its opportunities, defeating Scotland County, 5-0 to advance to the East Regional 4A playoffs.
The Wildcats (16-4) used production from the top of its lineup and capitalized on miscues by the Scots. West was led by its second and third batters – Danielle Myers, who was 3-for-4 and Megan Gibbons 2-for-4 with a two-run triple. Christina Gower also had two hits.
Lead-off batter Amber West drew walks in two of her first three plate appearances, advancing to second on wild pitches, eventually scoring on hits by Myers and Gibbons.
Megan Mills picked up the victory for the Wildcats, scattering four hits and striking out eight batters.
Granville wins: South Granville escaped from a bases-loaded situation in the seventh inning to defeat Wilson Beddingfield 6-4 in the 2A quarterfinals.
The best of three Eastern championship will be South Lenoir at South Granville on Thursday; Granville at South Lenoir on Friday and South Lenoir at Granville on Saturday, if needed.
Bears roll: Undefeated Chatham Central (26-0) had no trouble handling Bessemer City, 8-0, in the quarterfinal. Central is playing in the Western bracket and has advanced to the final four.
Princeton falls: Rocky Point Trask blanked Princeton 2-0 in the Eastern 1-A. Princeton managed only two hits off freshman A.J. Johnson.
“We’ve struggled with the bats the last month and it bit us today,” said Princeton coach Terry Braswell, whose club had 13 fly outs.
Princeton (19-3) had gotten timely hitting in the playoffs.
Trojans eliminated: South Johnston lost to Eastern Alamance 10-6 in 3A play.
South led 3-1 in the fourth, but walked six batters as Eastern (21-7) rallied to score six runs.
Lauren Higgins and Kayla Allen each had two hits for South.
Caryn Grant, Michael Held, Bill Woodward and Jay Mumford contributed to this story.