Before the Virginia AAA Northern Region baseball playoffs, Coach Dean Sissler told his Marshall High School players they would have to hit better to keep their region title.

The team has totaled nine hits in its last two games, but solid defense and superb pitching by All-Met Pete Schourek (13-0) and Steve Makranczy (8-1) have put the Statesmen in the state final again. Marshall (21-1) will play Mills Godwin of Richmond (23-0) for the AAA crown tonight at Fairfax High School at 7:30.

Schourek shut out West Springfield, 5-0, in the region final, then Makranczy and Schourek held E.C. Glass High School to four hits in a 1-0 victory in a state semifinal.

Schourek, who didn't allow a hit in three relief innings in the semifinal in Lynchburg Tuesday, will start tonight.

Lonnie Goldberg's single scored Rob Turner to win in Lynchburg. Later that evening, Schourek learned that the New York Mets had picked him in the second round of the draft. He has signed with Auburn and now must decide between college and the pros.

"He probably would have gone higher had he told them he was signable right now," Sissler said, "instead of thinking about college."

Tonight, Schourek need only think about how to pitch to a team competing in AAA for the first year, a team that is hitting over .330. Schourek has allowed only two earned runs in 68 innings and struck out 135 batters. He also has 11 home runs and is batting well over .500.

"Half of our victories have been shutouts," said Coach Dan Lynch. At one point, we had eight straight shutouts."

Although Marshall plays locally, Madison's girls softball team will go to Hampton to play Kecoughtan for the AAA state title at 6 p.m. Madison is 22-1, Kecoughtan is 20-0.

In Maryland, several area teams will play for softball titles at Upton Field in Glen Burnie. In AA, Eleanor Roosevelt will go against Severna Park at 8. Paint Branch will play Chesapeake for the A title at 8 and Damascus will play Northeast for for the B title at 6.