The No.11 Rosewood Eagles aren’t ready to go home yet.
The Eagles, which advanced past the first round for the first time since 2014, have to go on the road again to face No. 3 Louisburg in the third round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A State playoffs tonight at 6:30 p.m.
Rosewood and Louisburg met once before this season on April 24 in the North Johnston High School Easter tournament, with the Eagles getting a 5-0 win.
“Their pitcher is good, and they’ve got some good seniors and some good underclassmen,” Rosewood head coach Shay Campbell said. “They’ve got tremendous speed and that concerns me but for the most part if we play our game, then I like our chances.
“They’re a good ball team.”
Since losing to Princeton on May 2, the Eagles have won three games in a row by a combined score 41-3. In the first round of the playoffs, the Eagles throttled North Edgecombe 17-0, while in the second round the Eagles upset Bear Grass Charter 6-3.
Louisburg has won four of its last six games and beat John A. Holmes 11-0 in its second-round game.
Campbell said he expects to see both of Louisburg’s premier pitcher, Laine Barefoot, again in tonight’s game, as the Warriors have ridden Barefoot in critical games throughout the year. Barefoot boasts a 13-4 record, a 0.90 earn-run average and has struck out 136 batters.
Offensively, Louisburg has an explosive lineup that features six players hitting at least .300, including Chelsea Roberson (.481), Kaylee Saunders (.443), Ragan Holloman (.417) and Barefoot (.356).
Mackenzie Amodeo, hitting .478 with 20 RBIs, 19 runs and three home runs will help lead the way for the Eagles. Laine Marak, who leads the Eagles with six home runs, is hitting .333 with 21 RBIs and 26 runs scored. Rylee Joe Myers (.362, 11 RBIs, 24 runs), Katie Smith (.339, 19 RBIs, three HRs) and Brittney Butts (.344, 12 RBIs, 13 runs) are also among Rosewood’s offensive leaders this season.
To pull off another upset, the Eagles will rely heavily upon freshman pitcher Summer Nelsen, who is 8-2 with a 2.88 ERA and 45 strikeouts in her first season wearingan Eagles’ jersey.
“Their mantra all season long has been just taking it as it comes,” Campbell said. “This team doesn’t give up, and fights all the way through the game.”
The winner will advance to play Princeton or Riverside in the fourth round.
“You can’t get caught looking ahead but you like to take that peek and see what’s there, but at the same time you have to focus on the next game,” Campbell said. “Right now, we just want to take of business.”