Lady Toppers battle through three

The Houston Lady Toppers went all three games, but came up just shy in a bid to extend their post-season play into the second round.
“I’m proud of the girls and the way they played,” said coach Jeffery Mann. “We played hard but fell short.”
The Lady Toppers hosted Corinth in the first round of playoffs and took an 11-1 win in five innings to start things off, but the Lady Warriors came back strong in the second game with a 9-2 win over Houston.
The Lady Toppers went for a rally in the top of the sixth as Chelsea Gates, Taylor Lancaster and Madeline Burdine loaded the bases and Quaneshia Pratt hit a two RBI single to put the Houston girls on the board, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit.
The third game was a back-and-forth battle to the end with the Lady Warriors posting five runs in the first off two homeruns and the Lady Toppers scoring two in the bottom of the frame off RBI singles by Mary Kansas Sullivan and Pratt.
The Houston defense held in the second inning and the offense came through in the bottom of the inning with Lexie Doss hitting a two RBI single to centerfield and Gates ripping an RBI double past third base. Burdine’s double put the Lady Toppers in the lead, 6-5, and they added another run in the bottom of the third off an RBI double by Gates.
The Lady Warriors took the lead, 8-7 in the top of the fourth and the Lady Toppers tied it 8-8 in the bottom of the inning and the teams traded places again with Houston going up one and Corinth returning the favor to go into the seventh with the Lady Warriors up 10-9.
Corinth’s Katie Vandiver posted a grand slam over the left field fence to put the Lady Warriors in the lead, 14-9. Gates hit a sacrifice fly to send Josie Anderson across the plate, but the Lady Toppers couldn’t plate enough runs and took the 10-14 loss to end the season.
“Overall it was a good year,” Mann said. “We were undefeated in division and played pretty well through a tough schedule.”
The end of the slow-pitch season will give the Lady Toppers a break but it won’t last long as fast-pitch season will begin shortly after the Christmas break.
“The girls gave me a lot of encouragement for fast-pitch season,” Mann said. “We have three big spots to fill there with the loss of our two pitchers and our catcher, so I’m ready to get started with that come February.”web soft hst