J..I. Burton pitcher Tiffany Cole, shown batting, struck out nine and helped herself at the plate with a pair of hits and an RBI.
NICKELSVILLE — When Clintwood arrived at Twin Springs for Tuesday's Cumberland Conference 48 softball tournament, J.I. Burton was already there, waiting for the Lady Greenwave.
Then the Lady Raiders jumped on the 'Wave like they owed them money.
Caitlyn Yates led off with a triple and Norton went on to upend Clintwood 5-0.
The Raiders (13-9) face Eastside (17-2) in Thursday's 6 p.m. championship game. Despite getting off to a sluggish start, the regular-season champions dismantled Rye Cove 11-1 in five innings on Tuesday.
Burton ace Tiffany Cole (12-8) struck out nine and walked none during the shutout, confining the Lady Greenwave to four hits over seven innings.
Cole helped herself at the plate with two hits and an RBI.
The Lady Raiders played error-free defense. They also made some choice plays in the field, the most memorable being Jaz Bay's diving catch in right field to end the fourth inning.
Leia Scalf went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Kaitlyn Hamilton added a scale-tipping two-RBI single in the third for Burton, which knocked out 10 hits.
Erika Counts (11-5) picked up the loss for Clintwood, doomed by four unearned runs in the third and fourth innings that resulted from four defensive miscues over that span.
Clintwood got a pair of doubles from Bailey Robertson. And that was about it.
In the opener, Eastside led 1-0 after Kaylee Jones scored on an error in the first inning. The Lady Eagles tied it at 1 in the second after fierce Lucindy Lawson stroked a triple and scored on a subsequent Lady Spartans error.
Eastside ace Lindsay Dean (17-2) found her groove in the top of the third, however. The Lady Eagles lost theirs defensively in the bottom half, sinking ace Kristen Sanders (10-4) with four unearned runs off four errors.
Eastside lit up Sanders for three earned runs in the fourth, including a leadoff homer to center by Madison Powers.
Teammate Kaylee Jones went 2-for-2 with a double, adding a two-run blast in the fifth. Katie Mullins was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, and Erin Stanley and Emily Richardson both had two hits with a double and an RBI.
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