For a program in just its second year of existence, there’s something new to learn seemingly every day.
Lately, the Lady Tigers are discovering the pressure that comes with winning.
The Houston softball team is off to a fast start in 2008 after struggling through last year’s inaugural season. The Lady Tigers improved to 4-1 under first-year coach Boulder McKinney with a wild 20-18 victory Monday at Seymour.
McKinney said while his team is enjoying the ride, they are also dealing with the expectations that accompany success.
“I don’t know if the girls are used to being in this spot. It’s new territory,” McKinney said. “Part of the learning process is learning how to handle it.”
Houston got a first-hand lesson Monday. After pushing across 13 first-inning runs to take a commanding lead, the Lady Tigers failed to put Seymour away and saw their advantage trimmed to two runs.
But Houston scored two runs in the top of the sixth inning to extend its advantage to four. Seymour scored two times in the bottom of the seventh, but the Lady Tigers stranded the bases loaded to squeak out their third straight victory.
“I think the girls were disappointed in the way we played. It almost felt like a loss because we almost let it get away,” McKinney said. “But I was proud they were able to finish it off and get the win.”
Lyndsay Tarrants had three of Houston’s nine hits. Shelbi Moore was 2-for-3 with four runs scored, Paulette Chernowsky had a pair of hits and Stephanie Dukes and Whitney Sillyman scored three times apiece.
The Lady Tigers sent 18 batters to the plate in the first inning and took advantage of eight walks. Amber Postlewait, Moore, Stephanie Moseley and Tarrants all had RBI singles during the 13-run rally.
Hannah Pounds, who relieved Postlewait in the second inning after Seymour scored nine times, held Seymour scoreless in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to keep Houston’s lead safe.
On Friday, the Lady Tigers had no trouble protecting an early advantage. They scored seven times in the first two innings and pushed across 10 runs in the fourth en route to an easy 17-2 victory against Laquey.
Postlewait and Tarrants drove in four runs apiece for Houston. Senior Dukes had three hits and scored four runs.
Postlewait struck out five and allowed six hits in four innings.
“That was by far the best game we’ve played,” McKinney said. “We have to keep getting more and more focused. We’re enjoying the 4-1 start and looking forward to our remaining games.”
Houston (13)50 002 0 – 20 9
Seymour 394 000 2 – 18 18
HOUSTON (ab-r-h) – Korte lf 3-2-0. Dukes cf 1-3-0. Postlewait p 2-2-1. Pounds p 3-0-0. Sillyman 3b 1-3-0. Chambers dp 2-3-0. Burgess dp 1-0-0. Moore ss 3-4-2. Tarrants 1b 5-1-3. Chernowsky c 3-1-2. Moseley lf 4-1-1. Totals 28-20-9.
Laquey 000 2 – 2 6
Houston 430 (10) – 17 12
HOUSTON (ab-r-h-bi) – Korte lf 2-3-2-0. Dukes cf 3-4-3-2. Postlewait p 3-2-1-4. Sillyman 3b 2-2-1-1. Chambers dp 2-2-2-2. Moore ss 3-1-1-0. Tarrants 1b 3-0-2-4. Chernowsky c 1-1-0-0. Moseley rf 1-2-0-0. Totals 20-17-12 13.
2B: Sillyman, Chambers, Tarrants. 3B: Dukes, Postlewait. SB: Korte 4, Dukes 4, Sillyman 2, Tarrants 2, Moseley 2, Chambers, Chernowsky.
houston ip h r er bb so
Postlewait, W 4 6 2 2 4 5