Slugger Kelsey Pritchett had 2 doubles and a single in Houston's loss Wednesday at Willow Springs. Credit: DOUG DAVISON | HOUSTON HERALD

During the 2023 season, fielding hasn’t presented many problems for the Houston High School softball team.

Until Wednesday.

In a pivotal South Central Association game at Willow Springs, the Lady Tigers committed 8 errors and were defeated 11-7.

Leading 5-4, Houston committed 4 errors in the bottom of the fourth inning (3 on consecutive plays) to help the host Lady Bears score 7 runs and take control of the contest.

Willow Springs had just 3 hits during the decisive frame and finished with 7 in the game. Meanwhile, Houston totaled 12 hits.

HHS junior Kelsey Pritchett had another big day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with 2 doubles, 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored. Seniors Mackenzie Bryan and Rhease Manier each had 2-hit outings, with Manier driving in 3 runs.

Senior Aliyah Walker was in the pitcher’s circle for Houston and went the distance, allowing only 2 earned runs on 7 hits while striking out 5 and walking 2.


In a nonconference contest Tuesday at Eminence, the Lady Tigers immediately turned the game into a rout by scoring 13 runs in the top of the first inning.

Houston amassed 18 hits in the contest.

Senior catcher Katie Jo Chipps continued her surreal streak at the plate by going 2-for-2 with a home run, a triple, a walk, 5 RBIs and 3 runs scored. Her round-tripper (her fifth of the season) was a 3-run inside-the-park job that put the Lady Tigers ahead 3-0 with no outs in the first inning.

After the outing, Chipps had 16 hits in her last 18 at-bats, with season totals of 5 homers and 31 RBIs, and a batting average approaching .600 (all team-highs).

HHS freshman Katy Evans hit her second home run of the season Tuesday at Eminence.

Pritchett also had a home run (her third), belting a 2-run shot to close out the scoring in the first frame. She went 3-for-3 and drove in 4 runs in the contest.

Freshman Katy Evans also hit an inside-the-park home run as Houston piled up 7 runs in the top of the second inning, while sophomore Lacey Cavaness had her best-ever outing with the bat, going 3-for-3 with a triple, a double, 2 RBIs and 2 runs.

Pritchett pitched, allowing only 1 hit.

The Lady Tigers (10-2, 5-1 SCA) will play their final SCA game of the season Tuesday at Liberty. A win would likely give them a share of the conference championship with Ava, as those Lady Bears have lost just once in SCA play (to Houston) and will close out their conference slate by hosting a very beatable Salem squad.

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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