For NC State to beat James Madison, Emily Weiman and the defense behind her—a unit that had made 12 errors in their last three games—had to be better. They were. Weiman, who struggled in the Pack's regional win over Fordham, tossed a one-hitter and the Pack played errorless defense, advancing to the regional finals with a 2-0 win over the host Dukes.
Weiman allowed one hit and one walk while fanning eight to earn her 30th win of the season. It's the third straight year that the senior has won at least 30 games.
Freshwoman Alyssa "Straight outta" Compton got things going for the Pack after fouling off three straight two-strike pitches before leading off the third with a double. After Renada Davis walked, Tyler Ross bounced into a fielder's choice to erase Davis but the pivot throw to turn two got away, allowing Compton to score and Ross to take second. Another freshwoman, Meredith Burroughs, plated Ross with a clutch two-out single after Molly Hutchison fanned for the second out of the inning.
Jailyn Ford was the tough-luck loser for JMU, allowing just three hits, one earned run, and striking out nine. Ford is good, no doubt, but the Dukes did not use their ace, Megan Good, who is 29-2 with a 1.01 ERA. Good pitched the series opener and apparently does not possess Weiman-like ironwoman durability.
Good is a good bet to go in the elimination game against the Binghamton-Fordham winner (going on as I type). Whomever emerges from the loser's bracket will face the Pack tomorrow at 2 p.m. and will have to beat them twice to advance.