MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. (WNCT) — North Duplin’s softball program had only been to the state fast-pitch finals once in school history. They won it all that year.

They’ve got a chance to go 2-for-2 now.

The Rebels beat East Columbus 14-7 on Friday in the deciding game of the Class 1-A East Regional final, played at North Duplin High School. The win puts the Rebels (23-3), who won it all in 2015 — their only trip to the state final — in next weekend’s state final against Union Academy.

Union Academy won twice over South Stokes in the West Regional final, clinching the title on Thursday.

Click here to get tickets and other information about the softball regional finals. The state finals are June 2-3 at N.C. State, Duke and UNC Greensboro.

North Duplin’s only other trip to the softball finals was in 1989 when the Rebels lost in three games to Murphy in the 1-A slow-pitch title series.

The game was a slugfest early with North Dupllin clinging to a 7-6 lead after Jenna King hit a three-run homer for the Gators (27-4). North Duplin got a two-run homer and a solo shot in the fourth inning for a 10-6 lead after four innings.

The Rebels’ lead ballooned to 14-6 before East Columbus got its final run in the seventh.

North Duplin saw its 11-game win streak end at home on Tuesday against East Columbus in a 9-5 loss. The Rebels bounced back Thursday for a 12-3 win at East Columbus. The two teams agreed to play Friday due to the threat of bad weather.

North Duplin has now won 13 of its last 14 games going into next weekend’s best-of-3 title series.

Class 1-A East: (10) East Columbus vs. (4) North Duplin

  • Game 1: Tuesday: East Columbus 9, North Duplin 5
  • Game 2: Thursday: North Duplin 12, East Columbus 3
  • Game 3: Friday: North Duplin 14, East Columbus 7

NCHSAA softball playoff brackets, results

Class 1A Class 2A Class 3A Class 4A