Direct proton-knockout reactions of Sc-55 at similar to 220 MeV/nucleon were studied at the RIKEN Radioactive Isotope Beam Factory. Populated states of Ca-54 were investigated through -ray and invariant-mass spectroscopy. Level energies were calculated from the nuclear shell model employing a phenomenological intemucleon interaction. Theoretical cross sections to states were calculated from distorted-wave impulse approximation estimates multiplied by the shell model spectroscopic factors, which describe the wave function overlap of the Sc-55 ground state with states in Ca-54. Despite the calculations showing a significant amplitude of excited neutron configurations in the ground-state of Sc-55, valence proton removals populated predominantly the ground state of Ca-54. This counterintuitive result is attributed to pairing effects leading to a dominance of the ground-state spectroscopic factor. Owing to the ubiquity of the pairing interaction, this argument should be generally applicable to direct knockout reactions from odd-even to even-even nuclei.