WHITEVILLE, NC (WECT) - The Whiteville softball team has won plenty of championships, but something is missing in the outfield at the school -- a state championship banner.
"Over the years, we have won several championships together," senior Sage McLelland said. "Not only Dixie ball, but travel World Series, and it's one of our goals to go in and bring it home."
Wolfpack seniors lost in the state championship series as freshmen in 2014.
They haven't been able to get back until this year, losing in the fourth round in each of the past two seasons.
"We were so close, but we got beat by good teams," senior Laura Thompson said. "But we were so close, and I am just happy we broke our fourth-round curse."
Game 1 of the best-of-three state title series against North Stanly begins Friday at 5 p.m. in NC State's Dail Stadium.
Whiteville head coach Olivia Scott said she believes her team has been able to get over the hump by taking a different approach to the playoffs.
"They didn't know what it felt like to get past that fourth round," Scott said. "So our biggest focus was taking it one game at a time, and winning round one, two, and three, adjusting in round four, and capitalizing on any mistakes the other team made and using what we had and our strengths."
After getting so close to state championship glory, Scott and the Wolfpack are on a mission this season.
"Now, we are hungry," Scott said. "We have been there and been state runner-ups. We want to come back a state championship team.
"(A) state championship wouldn't be just for these 14 girls. It's for all the female athletes here at the school, and for all the female athletes here in Columbus County."