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.
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.
SHUTOUT IN OPENER
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.
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).