Staked to an early three-run lead, Samantha Lemm turned in a solid pitching performance that enabled Eastern to oust East Brunswick, 7-1, on Tuesday in a NJSIAA State Group 4 softball semifinal played at New Egypt.
Eastern advances to its first state title game since 1986, with the Vikings set to take on Morris Knolls on Saturday in Toms River.
Lemm struck out six, scattered five hits and two walks, and allowed a single run in the fourth inning.
"Sam did a good job keeping East Brunswick off the bases," Eastern coach Jamie McGroarty said. "We were able to jump out to an early lead and that took a little pressure off."
The Vikings' nine-hit attack featured a two-run double by Steph Vuono, two RBIs by Lemm and one RBI from Madison Tiernan.
NJSIAA State Group 3. Senior Jess Zeilman picked up her 100th career hit on a single in the seventh inning, providing a highlight for Delsea in its 10-2 loss to Middletown South in a semifinal held at Lenape.
The Crusaders, who won their second consecutive South Jersey championship last week, finished their season with an 18-6 record.
The foursome of Matt Mendall, Kevin Sarlo, Brandon Roche and T.J. Maderia carried Burlington Township to an eight-stroke victory in the Burlington County League championship at Hanover Golf Club.
Macklin McKinstrie of Moorestown was the individual winner, carding a five-over-par 76, to edge out runner-up Mendall (79).
Reliever Evan Emerich came on to strike out the final batter, ending Highland's first-and-third, two-out threat in the top of seventh inning, and preserving host Clearview's 4-3 victory.
Junior righthander George Eisenhart picked up the win in the Tri-County Conference game to raise his record to 7-2. Junior Brett Solomen's fifth home run of the season - a solo shot in the third - gave the Pioneers a 4-0 lead.
State Softball Champions
2006: New Egypt
2003: Roselle Park
2007: Governor Livingston
2003: Manchester Township
2009: Middletown South
2007: Wall Township
2005: South Plainfield
2006: North Hunterdon
2005: Rancocas Valley
2009: Immaculate Heart
2008: Red Bank Catholic
2007: Notre Dame
2006: Notre Dame
2005: Red Bank Catholic
2004: St. John Vianney
2003: Immaculate Heart
2008: Mater Dei