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Lady Spartans claim share of Cumberland softball title

KEVIN MAYS, [email protected] • May 12, 2018 at 11:21 PM

COEBURN — Nothing changed Saturday in the final 3½ innings of the interrupted Cumberland District softball game between Eastside and J.I. Burton.

In a game continued because of a rain delay about a week ago, the teams played the final innings without either scoring to preserve a 2-1 win for Eastside.

The win gave the Lady Spartans (13-5, 8-2) the district co-championship with Rye Cove — the Eastside program’s seventh straight regular-season Cumberland title.

“Thankfully, we were able to hold them off,” said Eastside coach Suzi Atwood. “We had several running track (in the Cumberland championships) today, so I was worried about that. Nothing flashy happened.”

Atwood said her team did not discuss the repercussions of a win on Saturday.

“We didn’t talk about that. We just talked about finishing the game strong and thinking about nothing else but this game,” she said. “That was our mentality going in. That they focused solely on nothing but beating Norton today.

“When you’re winning in May, you feel pretty good. So I feel pretty good right now.”

Eastside and Rye Cove (12-8, 8-2) will play Monday at 6 p.m. at Virginia-Wise to determine the No. 1 seed for the district tournament as well as which team receives the league’s automatic bid to the Region 1D tournament.

Saturday’s game picked up at the start of the bottom of the fourth, and both pitchers controlled the contest.

Eastside’s Liz Brace struck out six batters while surrendering two hits over the final three innings. Burton’s Bailey Sturgill gave up one hit and struck out three in four innings.

The only scoring threat of the game came in the bottom of the sixth when, with one out, Eastside’s Cloey Bailey reached second on a throwing error. But Sturgill retired the next two batters to end the threat.

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