Kayla Kelley, sophomore, first base

Kayla Kelley and Carmen Floyd each earned all-tournament honors as they led the Lady Tigers softball team to a third-place finish Saturday at the Walnut Grove Tournament.

Sixth-seeded Houston knocked off No. 3 Fair Grove on Friday and after losing to eventual champion Pierce City, beat Marionville 2-1 Saturday afternoon.

The tournament was held at Bolivar due to heavy rain Thursday and Friday.

On Monday, the Lady Tigers (6-5) beat Seymour 6-5 for their third victory in four games.

In Saturday’s third-place game, Kelley had a RBI double in the third inning and Elizabeth Jenkins scored the go-ahead run in the fifth.

Floyd scattered six hits and struck out one in the complete-game victory.

Maddie Vandiver led off fourth with a triple and scored on Kelley’s double to make it 1-1. Jenkins reached on a walk in the fifth and scored on a wild pitch.

“I was very proud of the girls keeping their composure in pressure situations,” Houston coach Willy Walker said. “This tournament is by far the toughest we play in. It was nice to see we can compete at that level.”

In Friday’s opener, Sadie Ashworth had three of the Lady Tigers’ season-best 12 hits. Vandiver, Floyd and Belle Knarr had two hits apiece.

Vandiver and Knarr each scored two runs.

Floyd struck out five and allowed five hits in the victory.

On Saturday, Kaylea Preheim had two hits in a 4-1 loss to Pierce City.

Taylor Franklin doubled in the first and scored the Lady Tigers’ lone run.

“One thing that really stands out is that we are starting to come together as a team by working together to achieve a common goal,” Walker said. “We had numerous situations where a player was asked to lay down a bunt for an advancement of a runner or to score a run.”

On Monday, Knarr had two of Houston’s 10 hits in a road victory at Seymour.

Vandiver scored a pair of runs for the Lady Tigers, who stole a season-high 11 bases. Vandiver had five steals, including three in the sixth inning as she put Houston ahead 6-5.

Seymour sent eight batters to the plate in the bottom of the seventh and took advantage of four errors to pull within a run. But Floyd got a strikeout to strand the potential tying run on base.

Floyd struck out five for her sixth victory of the season.

“We are close to where we need to be at this point in the season,” Walker said. “It comes down to the team that makes the least amount of mistakes usually wins.”

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