05/25/10 — Playoff preview capsules

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Playoff preview capsules

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on May 25, 2010 1:46 PM

When Rosewood takes the field tonight against East Columbus in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A eastern regional semifinals, the Eagles will be looking to exact a little revenge for a pair of their Carolina 1-A Conference mates.

East Columbus eliminated Spring Creek in second-round play and ousted North Duplin in the quarterfinals on Friday.

"I think having East Columbus play two teams from our league is a little bit of an advantage," said Eagles head coach Jason King. "Obviously, they are a very good team and we will have to play a great game to beat them, but hopefully we know a little more about them than they do about us."

Matt Neal gets the start on the mound for Rosewood. The crafty senior pitched the Eagles (16-6 overall) past Red Springs in the second round and has been the team's go-to arm for the past two seasons.

Neal also has been one of the Eagles' leaders at the plate in the playoffs. Neal belted a home run in Saturday's win over South Robeson. Will Winslow added four hits in the same game as Rosewood compiled 12 hits.

"East Columbus is a good fielding team and they are not going to give us anything," said King. "We have to go up there ready to hit and make the most of our scoring chances."

On the 3-A playoff scene, Eastern Wayne (17-10 overall) will play host to an eastern regional semifinal game for the second consecutive season. The Warriors take on former Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference rival Wilson Hunt tonight at 7 p.m.

Eastern Wayne advanced past West Brunswick on Friday thanks to a near-flawless pitching performance by Josh Frederick. The left-hander hurled a shutout and made the most of an early 2-0 lead.

Tonight the Warriors will turn the ball over to Zack Mozingo, who already has a playoff win over Currituck County in the second round.

On the softball diamond, Princeton (17-5 overall) will play host to N.C. School of Science and Math. Junior pitcher Traci Bridgers has tossed back-to-back two hit games, and will get the ball tonight for the Bulldawgs.

"Science and Math has a pitcher that transferred from Midway and they have a very strong offensive lineup," said Princeton head coach Terry Braswell. "At this point, all there is to do is to put the best nine players on the field and give it your best shot."

Game time is 6 p.m.