Gary Butterworth hit two home runs and a triple and drove in five runs as West Springfield blasted George Washington-Danville, 12-1, last night in a Virginia AAA state tournament quarterfinal at Fairfax.

The Spartans (20-5) will play a semifinal at Highland Springs Friday at 6 p.m. against the winner of last night's Lafayette-Dinwiddie game.

Butterworth, who has 12 hits in his last 17 at-bats, gave West Springfield all the runs it would need in the first inning. With Chris Adams on second after a walk and a stolen base, Butterworth fought off a couple of tough curveballs from freshman Omari Venable and then got a fastball.

It was a pitch Venable wishes he hadn't thrown, Butterworth depositing it over the center field fence for a 2-0 Spartans advantage.

"He had thrown a couple of curves but with two strikes I thought he'd come with the fastball," said Butterworth. "That's what I got and I just hopped on it."

The Eagles (18-5) filled the bases with one out in the second against left-hander Mark Simon and scored on a line-drive sacrifice fly by Ray Hashty. Simon ended the threat by striking out Richie Dryden.

After his rocky second inning, Simon settled down. In six innings, he allowed three hits and five walks. He struck out seven.

"We've got him {Simon} back throwing the curve for strikes, which he hasn't done in a couple of weeks," said West Springfield Coach Ron Tugwell. "Our scouting reports said their three, four and five hitters needed to see the breaking ball and Simon got a couple of big strikeouts with it."

West Springfield added to its lead in the third. Jim Francis doubled and Adams walked. Rob Cassels sacrificed bringing, Butterworth up with first base open. The senior catcher made the Eagles pay for pitching to him by banging a high triple to the gap in right-center, giving the Spartans a 4-1 edge.

"The triple was really great for us," Butterworth said. "You need to score more than two runs to win in this tournament. I thought it had a chance to go out also."

Nobody anywhere in the park had to guess about Butterworth's next hit in the fifth. Jeff Mauldin came in, looked to get ahead in the count and came right in with a fastball. Butterworth rocketed it to left and the ball was still rising when it hit the trees behind the left-center fence.

"It was his first batter and it was a good fastball inside," said Butterworth. "But it was straighter than straight and I just hit it hard."

The Eagles finally did the right thing by walking Butterworth in the sixth. Later in the inning, the Spartans put the finishing touches on the rout as pinch hitter Steve Kramer hit a grand slam.

"We are hitting the ball better than we have any time in the past two years," said Tugwell. "And we are hitting good pitching. We're just right on the ball."

Butterworth agreed. "We're just ripping the ball left and right," he said. "We finally got our heads together in the region and hit the ball hard and it continued today. It's a good omen because West Springfield teams before have started hitting fast and tailed off at the end. But this is basically the opposite.

"We're very confident" going into the semifinals, he added. "We've got Bill {Martz} on the mound and we're hitting the ball hard. We're right where we want to be."