LUMBERTON — Then there were two.
After five Robeson County high school teams entered the softball, baseball and girls soccer NCHSAA state playoffs on Wednesday, only the Lumberton and Purnell Swett softball teams are alive heading into Friday’s second round games.
Both team face long road trips to take on some of the state’s top teams, as No. 14 Purnell Swett (16-7) travels to No. 3 Mooresville (20-4) and No. 15 Lumberton (16-9) goes to No. 2 South Central (20-1). Both games will start at 7 p.m.
Purnell Swett used some late runs to put away Ardrey Kell in the first round, while pitcher JaiLeana Deese rebounded from allowing a first-inning home run to strike out eight batters and allow four hits.
Mooresville received a first-round bye, has won 13 of its last 14 games and finished in a tie for first place in the I-Meck Conference. Eight Blue Devil batters enter the game hitting over .400 on the season, led by Ruthie Jackson with a .486 batting average, 31 RBIs and four home runs. Jackson and three other batters have over 20 RBIs on the season for a Mooresville team that averages nearly 12 runs a game.
Senior pitcher Joelle Davis has been the ace in the circle for Mooresville this season, allowing 31 earned runs in 111 innings, while fanning 77 batters.
The Lady Pirates take on a South Central squad that’s only loss came to 4A E.A. Laney in early March, and have won its last 18 games since then. The Lady Falcons have outscored their opponents on average by nine runs a game this season.
For the South Central offense that comes in averaging 12 runs an outing, Senior Cameron Davis, a UNCP signee, leads the way with a .591 batting average, 46 RBIs and 10 homers. Freshman Isabel Moore has 99 strikeouts in 121 innings pitched with a 2.02 ERA.