On the strength of prolific offensive production, the Houston High School softball team defeated county rival Cabool 24-2 in a South Central Association game Thursday at Carter Field in Houston.
In the 2 ½-inning run-rule-shortened contest, the visiting Lady Bulldogs took an early lead with 2 runs on only 1 hit in the top of the first inning.
But the Lady Tigers retaliated with 14 runs in the bottom of the frame and added another 10 in the second inning.
As Houston sent 19 batters to the plate in the first inning, freshman Katy Evans enjoyed a rare experience by smashing a 2-run home run and a 2-run double in the frame. Evans’ dinger was a bullet to left field that left the yard in a hurry, and came 2 pitches after she hit a foul ball to left that had home run distance but was about 5 feet wide of the foul pole.
The Lady Tigers totaled 14 hits in the contest and benefited from 9 walks.
HHS senior catcher Katie Jo Chipps went 3-for-3 with the bat with 2 doubles and 3 RBIs. Her perfect outing at the plate gave her 7 hits in her last 7 at-bats.
Junior Kelsey Pritchett did the pitching for Houston and worked all 3 innings, allowing only 2 hits and 1 earned run while striking out 6 and walking 3. Pritchett also had a big day at the plate, going 2-for-2 with a walk and crushing a solo homer to center field during the first-inning barrage.
Spending only 2 innings in the field, the Lady Bulldogs committed a whopping 8 errors in the contest. Meanwhile, the Lady Tigers committed 1 error in 3 innings of fielding.
SOMEONE HAD TO LOSE
In a battle of undefeated teams on Tuesday (also at Carter Field), visiting Dixon won 16-8 and went home at 9-0 while the Lady Tigers fell to 5-1.
Trailing 8-5 after 6 innings, the visiting Lady Bulldogs erupted for 11 runs in the top of the seventh. Prior to the outburst, the contest had been a back-and-forth affair featuring three lead changes and two ties.
Senior Aliyah Walker started in the pitcher’s circle for Houston and worked 6 2/3 innings, allowing 10 hits and 2 earned runs while striking out 8, walking 6 and giving up a pair of homers. Pritchett finished, allowing a hit, 2 earned runs and 3 walks before the third out was recorded.
The Lady Tigers had 9 hits in the game. Walker and Chipps accounted for 7, with Walker going 3-for-4 at the plate with a home run, 2 triples, 3 RBIs and 2 runs scored, while Chipps went 4-for-4 with 2 doubles, 2 RBIs and 2 runs.
Dixon lead-off batter Mack Cross reached base in each of her 5 at-bats and scored each time.
With 1 out and the score at 8-5 in favor of Houston in the top of the 7th inning, the Lady Tigers committed a devastating error on a dropped fly ball, and the floodgates opened after that. Houston committed a season-high total of 5 errors in the contest.
The Lady Tigers (6-1, 4-0 SCA) compete Saturday in a tournament at Conway and then travel to Ava on Monday for a huge SCA matchup that could have a major impact on the race for the conference championship.