The first win came convincingly Friday in the North & South Amateur for Mississippi State's Ally McDonald, but she had to rally in her quarterfinal matchup to get past Jillian Hollis for a 2&1 victory and a birth in Saturday's semifinals on Pinehurst No.8 in North Carolina.
The sixth-seeded McDonald, who claimed the title in 2013, will face the No. 2 seed Alison Lee of California. Lee picked up a 4&3 win over Ashley Holder in the Round of 16 and a 1-up victory over Maria Torres in the quarterfinals.
McDonald started off her day hot, winning the first two holes in her Round of 16 matchup against Regina Plasencia of Mexico, and McDonald then took the fourth and fifth hole of the match to extender her lead to 4-up. After dropping the seventh and eighth holes, McDonald took the ninth to make the turn 3-up.
On the back nine, McDonald won the 12th and 13th holes to go 5-up, and she clinched the match 5&4 after the 14th.
Things proved tougher for McDonald in her quarterfinal matchup against Hollis. While McDonald stood at level par through five holes, Hollis birdied the first and fifth to take a 2-up lead. McDonald then bogeyed the sixth to give Hollis a 3-up lead, but she bounced back with a birdie at the seventh to cut Hollis's lead back to 2-up.
On the back nine, Hollis bogeyed the 11th, and McDonald birdied the 12th and 13th to force a three hole swing and take her first lead of the match. Hollis squared the match on the 15th, but McDonald won the 16th with a par. On the final hole, McDonald carded a birdie for the 2&1 victory.
Both semifinals and final will be played Saturday.