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Burton beats Wise Central for last LPD softball tourney crown

May 23rd, 2013 9:41 pm by Staff Reports

NORTON — District and regional athletic events throughout Region D were put off by inclement weather Thursday.

Perhaps because it got a head start on Wednesday night, the Lonesome Pine District softball tournament proved a notable exception.

Just in case the old Wise-Norton sports rivalries don’t survive the two communities’ parting of the district ways next fall, the J.I. Burton softball team had its final say in the matter.

Tiffany Cole completed a two-hit shutout at the Lawson-Fitchko complex Thursday the Lady Raiders wrapped up a 6-0 win over Wise Central in the Lonesome Pine District softball tournament finals.

The game was suspended Wednesday night due to lightning with Burton leading the regular-season champions 3-0 with a baserunner at first no outs in the top of the fifth inning.

At the time, Lady Raiders coach Jon Bright fretted that the layover would cost his team critical momentum.

Jaz Bay, who’d stroked a two-run homer in the third inning on Wednesday, welcomed Kelly pitcher Kaitlyn Stratton back to action with a single.

“When she got that hit, every bit of momentum we had last night came right back,” Bright said.

Cole followed with another single to plate lead-off runner Cassie Paige. Meygan Thacker put an exclamation point on the inning, stroking a two-RBI single that plated Bay and Cole for the final margin.

“This was the last-ever Lonesome Pine District softball tournament, so we’re real excited about it and very proud that we won it,” Bright said.

Tiffany Cole (10-8) struck out four as she went the distance for what Bright believed was the season’s first shutout of the talent-laden Lady Warriors.

“We played real good defense behind her. It was a total team effort,” said Bright, whose squad made two errors.

Burton and Central will not cross paths again in postseason play. The Lady Raiders will be seeded in the Region D, Division 1 bracket. The Lady Warriors will be seeded in the Division 2 bracket. The Region D selection committee convenes Sunday.

Rain threw assorted tournament schedules into disarray yet again on Thursday.

The LPD baseball tournament was a complete washout. The rescheduled championship and consolation games were split due to schedule conflicts. The title game between Clintwood and Central is set for 5 p.m. Friday. The consolation pitting Union against Burton has been slated for 3 p.m. Saturday.

The Clinch Mountain District baseball tournament was also rained out. Action is slated to resume Friday with John Battle playing Lebanon at 2:15 p.m. and Gate City taking on Virginia High at 4:15 p.m.

The Cumberland District is expected to resume Friday at Keith Memorial Park in Nickelsville. 

Eastside has tentatively been rescheduled to face Twin Springs at 2 p.m. with the winner facing Castlewood in the championship game afterward.

In other action, the Region D boys and girls tennis singles tournament is set to resume at 3 p.m. Friday at the Central tennis courts.


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