Softball: Wayne County One Win Away From First State Tournament Berth (PHOTO GALLERY)

Softball: Wayne County One Win Away From First State Tournament Berth (PHOTO GALLERY)

Playing in its first game in 19 days, Wayne County Post 11 had no problem shaking off the rust against Johnson County Post 109 on Monday evening.

Brianna Verme pitched a no-hitter and was one walk away from a perfect, while Le’Onna Nelson supplied a two-run home run in a 7-0 triumph over Johnson County.

With the win, Post 11 is one win away from traveling to Shelby for the N.C. American Legion Fastpitch Softball state tournament.

“It’s been 19 days since we’ve played, and I was kind of worried about that, but we came out early, so I was proud of that,” Wayne County Post 11 head coach T.J. Smothers said.

Verme got off to a strong start as she struck out the side to start off the game, while in the bottom of the first Alyssa Smothers hit an RBI single to put Post 11 up 1-0

Verme struck out the side again in the top of the second, and Wayne County seized control of the game in the bottom of the inning.

Mckenzie Millard’s supplied an RBI single, while Smother’s sacrifice fly gave Post 11 a 3-0 advantage. Nelson then delivered a two-run smash that put Wayne County in front 5-0

“We scored quite a bit in every inning,” Smothers said. “I was really glad to see it since it’s been 19 days. When we score a few runs, we’re going to alright.”

Brittney Butts’ RBI double in the bottom of third and Cana Shrock sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth gave Wayne County a 7-0 lead.

Johnston County had no answer for Verme, who did not let a Johnston County player get on base until the top of the sixth inning. Verme finished the game with zero hits and 15 strikeouts.

“There ain’t much to say about Brianna. She’s tough to hit. Rise ball was working, curveball, changeup, she was all over it,” Smothers said.

Wayne County travels to Meadow Middle School on Tuesday to face Johnston County again in game two of the best of three series.

“Two years ago, we lost this game 4-3, so hopefully we’ve learned a little bit, and Johnson County has got to beat us twice now, and we’ve only got to get one,” Smothers said.