Amanda Krage’s hit looked harmless off the bat — a slow ground ball that would surely be handled by a South County infielder.

Instead, the Oakton catcher’s ground ball found a hole and kept rolling up the middle, allowing Cougars center fielder Emily Corridon to score from second base with the game’s first run.

“I actually hit it really softly so I’m surprised it got by the pitcher,” Krage said.

“But once it did I knew it was soft enough that Emily could score.”

After seven scoreless innings Wednesday, Krage’s two-out single finally opened things up in the eighth, and Oakton scored twice more to earn a 3-0 win over South County in the Virginia AAA Northern Region softball semifinals in Vienna.

Cougars sophomore Allison Davis pitched a three-hit shutout with 16 strikeouts, and Oakton clinched a berth in the Virginia AAA tournament while the Stallions fell one win short for the third consecutive year.

Oakton (17-5) will play Stone Bridge (23-2) in the region final at Madison on Friday at 4 p.m., but both teams will advance to the state quarterfinals regardless of the outcome.

“We expected to get here,” Davis said, “but we knew this game would be tough.”

South County sophomore Rebecca Martin matched Davis through the regularly scheduled seven innings, allowing just three hits and striking out 13 before the three-run eighth when she struck out one more.

While Davis overpowered the Stallions (23-3) with her heavy fastball and tough riseball, Martin mixed in a lot of changeups and curveballs to frustrate the Oakton hitters.

Corridon led off the eighth with a bunt single, and after Martin walked Davis in between two outs, Krage’s RBI single turned out to be the first of three consecutive run-scoring hits when third baseman Hayley French and designated player Alana Peters each tacked on RBI singles.

South County had loaded the bases with two outs in the third inning but could not score, and Davis allowed just one hit from the fourth inning on while her team tried to scratch across a run.

“We’re not the greatest softball team in the world, but we battle,” Oakton Coach Ray Gordon said. “My kids don’t give up.”

STONE BRIDGE 8, WEST POTOMAC 0: The Bulldogs scored five runs in the bottom of the first inning and cruised past the Wolverines (18-7). Third baseman Jade Fleming went 3 for 4 with two doubles and three RBI for the Bulldogs, and catcher Olivia Tatara hit a two-run home run in the first inning.

Elsewhere, in the AAA Northwest Region semifinals, Broad Run beat North Stafford, 5-2, and Osbourn Park beat Halifax County, 10-8 in eight innings, to clinch state tournament berths and set up a region final matchup at Osbourn Park on Friday.