The Houston Lady Tigers got an emotional lift from the return of their injured teammate just in time for district play.
With senior Lyndsay Tarrants present for the first time since a fatal accident that killed a classmate, the Lady Tigers had a strong showing in a 1-0 loss Tuesday afternoon to Newburg.
Although Houston lost, it was a much-improved performance than the previous two games it played without Tarrants. The Lady Tigers (8-6) lost those games by a combined score of 18-5.
Tarrants, who has been hospitalized since the Sept. 18 accident, rode in a wheel chair and was able to stand for portions of the game. She made it to her first game just in time to be recognized on senior day.
“It meant a lot to have Lyndsay here,” Lady Tigers coach Willy Walker said. “We obviously played better than the two times she wasn’t here. When she’s here, everyone seems at ease. They look up to her.”
Houston played more like the team that won six consecutive games earlier in the season. But the Lady Tigers still weren’t their sharpest. Two costly errors in the fourth inning allowed the only run of the game.
Walker said his team must be sharper to have a chance of winning the Class 2 District 6 tournament. The third-seeded Lady Tigers faced Crane on Wednesday at Forsyth.
“When we play those good teams, we’ve got to minimize those errors,” Walker said. “That’s how we lost the game.”
Bethany Korte, Hannah Pounds and Jessica Herndon each singled to account for the Lady Tigers’ three hits. No baserunner reached second base.
Sophomore Carmen Floyd gave up five hits in the complete-game loss. She struck out five batters, including consecutive Ks following a leadoff error in the fourth. But the next batter reached on an infield error that allowed an unearned run.
The Lady Tigers only struck out twice but couldn’t find enough holes for hits.
“This was a better game for us than the previous two,” Walker said. “We actually showed up to play and were in the game. It takes all nine of us to be in the game mentally at all times and everyone on the bench. We just didn’t have everybody onboard.”
Following the game, seniors Korte, Pounds, Herndon, Kyla Chambers and Shelbi Moore were recognized alongside their parents. They were joined by Tarrants, who rode her wheelchair across the field and beside them on the third-base line.
“They’re going to be missed,” Walker said of his seniors. “I would have liked to have them two or three years. They are good kids and worked hard for me.”