HS SOFTBALL: Floyd's gem gets Lady Tigers back on winning track

Carmen Floyd’s dominating performance helped the Houston Lady Tigers get back to their winning ways.

Floyd threw a complete-game shutout – Houston’s first of the season – and the Lady Tigers snapped a two-game losing skid with a convincing 11-0 five-inning victory Monday against visiting Seymour.

Houston (7-3) had won six consecutive games until losing twice over the weekend at the Walnut Grove Tournament. The Lady Tigers started a new streak behind their hard-throwing sophomore and an error-free defensive effort.

“We came out ready to play, and we made plays today,” Houston coach Willy Walker said. “We need to get on the winning side and stay there for awhile.”

Senior Shelbi Moore was 2-for-3 and scored twice for the Lady Tigers, who scored five times in the second inning and added six runs in the fourth to invoke the mercy rule.

Floyd and Jessica Herndon knocked in two runs apiece. Moore, Herndon and Kyla Chambers each scored twice.

Floyd, who has taken over the role of staff ace, allowed two hits and struck out seven in five strong innings. She escaped her lone jam in the top of the second when she stranded a pair of runners on base with a strikeout.

Walker said Floyd has worked hard to harness her control. Beginning this summer, she has kept a daily journal of her pitching workouts at home.

“If you would have told me this summer that she’d be starting this time of the year, I would have said you were crazy,” Walker said. “She’s really worked hard to get where she’s at.”

Walker said Floyd’s emergence has made the Lady Tigers better. Not only is Floyd the hardest thrower on the staff, but moving her to starter makes the team better defensively. Senior Hannah Pounds, the team’s previous No. 1 starter, has solidified the infield at third base.

“As long as Carmen continues to throw strikes, she’ll be pitching for us,” Walker said. “It helps us defensively, and I think we’re a better ball club with her on the mound.”

Moore started the scoring in the second inning with a leadoff double. Herndon’s two-run single capped a five-run inning.

Moore and Tarrants had consecutive run-scoring singles in the fourth inning. Floyd followed with a two-run single to put Houston ahead 11-0.

Floyd, who tweaked her ankle diving back into second base following her base hit, worked around a walk in the top of the fifth inning to end it.

On Thursday, Bethany Korte knocked in three runs and Herndon had a pair of RBIs in a 12-2 five-inning victory against Laquey.

Korte, Floyd and Chambers each scored twice for the Lady Tigers. Tory Burgess and Floyd had two hits apiece.

Floyd worked around five hits, including a solo home run, for the victory. She struck out one and walked one.

In the opening round of the Walnut Grove Tournament, the Lady Tigers never led in a 5-4 loss Friday to Fair Play. Korte, Burgess and Moore had two hits apiece to account for Houston’s six hits.

Fair Play had eight hits against Floyd, who walked four and struck out two.

On Saturday, the Lady Tigers managed just two hits in a 7-5 loss to Dadeville. Pounds and Moore each had singles.

Pounds took the loss, giving up six runs in three innings.

Houston trailed 7-1 before scoring four times in the fifth.

“We didn’t play as well as we could have, but we by no means played as badly as we had been,” Walker said of the two tournament losses. “We came back in both games, it just wasn’t enough to pull through.”

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