Strong start for Lady Toppers

The Lady Toppers hosted their annual fall tournament and came out with three wins on the day.
The JV won over Caledonia 6-1 and the varsity picked up two wins over South Pontotoc and Houlka.
“I think we have gotten off to a great start,” said Houston coach Jeffrey Mann. “We have had some young girls mature and step up and play on a high level.”
In their match with Houlka, the Lady Wildcats got on the board first as Shaliece Hamilton plated Chiane Edington on a sac fly and junior Jesse Moore’s RBI single sent Cassie Homan home.
But the Lady Toppers took advantage of their first at-bat to take the lead.
Chelsea Gates doubled to lead off and Madeline Burdine singled up the third base line. Mary Kansas Sullivan loaded the bases on a walk and Talaja Echoles hit a two RBI single off the left field fence. Quaneshia Pratt added an RBI double and the Lady Topper closed the inning up 4-2.
The Lady Wildcats tied it up in the top of the second at 4-4, but the Lady Toppers got the edge 5-4 at the bottom of the frame.
The Houston defense held the Houlka girls in the third and the offense took over in bottom of the inning with the Lady Toppers posting 11 runs including another double from Gates and a three RBI home run from Echoles.
The Lady Wildcats added one more run in the top of the fourth, but the Lady Toppers got run-rule win at 16-5.
Mann said the work the team has put in earlier this summer is paying off.
“The girls are working hard at practice and it is showing in the games,” Mann said, but added they have more work to do to reach the potential he sees. “I am pleased but not satisfied. These girls don’t know how good they could be.”
South 4, Houston 10
In their opening game of the tournament, the Lady Cougars of South Pontotoc fell to the hosting Lady Hilltoppers despite late-game rally.
Trailing 3-10 in the seventh, the Lady Cougars defense held the Lady Toppers, stranding them with bases loaded.
In the bottom of the frame, Holcomb singled to score Luther, but the Lady Toppers turned two on Lilly’s single with Chelsea Gates making to stop and hitting Quaneshia Pratt at home to prevent the run. Pratt made the throw to Taylor Lancaster at third for the double play to end the game.

Upcoming action
The Houston girls will host Vardaman Thursday and participate in the South Pontotoc tournament Saturday.soft houston web