As head coach Jim Moore pumps his fist in victory, HHS senior Aliyah Walker celebrates after senior Karlee Curtis scored the winning run in the fifth inning of an SCA game against Mountain Grove Monday at Carter Field in Houston. Credit: DOUG DAVISON | HOUSTON HERALD

After missing the entire first week of the season due to rain, the Houston High School softball team is on a roll.

The Lady Tigers bashed Mountain Grove 10-0 in 5 innings in a South Central Association Conference contest Monday at Carter Field and came from behind to win 4-3 in an SCA matchup last Thursday at Salem.

In Monday’s run-rule-shortened game, Houston benefited from good pitching, good fielding and long balls.

The Lady Tigers recorded three home runs in the victory. With Houston ahead 3-0 in the bottom of the first inning, senior first baseman Mackenzie Bryan belted a 2-run dinger high into the pine trees beyond the left field fence. Then in the third frame, junior designated player Kelsey Pritchett hit an opposite-field shot that clanged off of one of the scoreboard supports in right field.

HHS senior Mackenzie Bryan is greeted at home plate by teammates after hitting a 2-run home run during the Lady Tigers’ win over Mountain Grove.

Then with the Lady Tigers leading 7-0 in the bottom of the fifth, senior center fielder Karlee Curtis smacked a 3-run inside-the-park homer to center field and Houston secured the walk-off win.

Meanwhile, senior Aliyah Walker was dominant in the pitcher’s circle, tossing a complete game 3-hitter, striking out 7 and walking only 1.

The Lady Tigers scored at least 1 run in each inning of the game and finished with a total of 8 hits, with Bryan, Curtis and Walker notching 2 hits apiece. Houston fielders didn’t commit an error, and baserunners stole 7 bags.

At Salem, the host Lady Tigers took an early lead with 3 runs on only 1 hit in the bottom of the first inning. But after Walker came in in relief with 1 out in the frame, Salem’s offense was held in check the rest of the way.

Walker also delivered a crucial blow at the plate, smacking a 2-run triple in the top of the fifth inning to tie the score at 3. Curtis followed with a single to drive home Walker and put Houston ahead for good.

The visiting Lady Tigers had only 3 hits in the game, while the host Lady Tigers had only 2.

Salem senior Ashton Bowers pitched a complete game, striking out 8 and walking 3. In 6 2/3 innings of work, Walker gave up only 1 hit while fanning 6 and walking 1.


The Lady Tigers opened the season with a 13-0 shutout on Tuesday of last week at Dora.

Walker was a force on offense and defense. In the pitcher’s circle, she threw a complete game 1-hitter, striking out and not issuing a walk. Meanwhile, she went 2-for-4 at the plate as the Lady Tigers’ lead-off batter, with a double, 3 RBIs, a run scored and 2 stolen bases.

Houston had 14 hits in the contest and scored in 5-of-7 innings. Pritchett had a huge day with the bat, going 4-for-4 with 3 doubles, 3 RBIs and 2 runs, while senior right fielder Rhease Manier went 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI and 4 runs scored.

Eight different Lady Tigers had at least 1 hit in the game. After missing last season due to an injury, senior catcher Katie Chipps picked up where she left off as a sophomore and belted a solo inside-the-park home run.

HHS senior Maddy Riley runs between second and third base on the way to scoring a run in the Lady Tigers’ shutout of Mountain Grove.

A home game last Friday against Summersville was cancelled due to a conflict with Summersville’s prom.

Houston (3-0 through Monday) hosts an SCA game with Thayer on Thursday (April 6) and a nonconference matchup with Dixon next Tuesday (April 11).

HHS senior Katie Chipps takes a high pitch Monday against Mountain Grove.

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Contact him by phone at 417-967-2000 or by email at

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