A season that began three months ago in Melissa came to a successful conclusion at the Howe softball field Tuesday night with a 7-5 win over Bells.
For Lady Bulldog seniors Maegan Thurston,Charlotte Smith, Morgan Scribner, Nicole Pelt, Emily Morgan, Katy Courtney and manager Taylor DeFrange the ending is bittersweet as hopes for a playoff spot were dashed and this closing win will have to suffice.
Bells jumped out to a 1-0 lead, but Howe came right back to score a pair of runs in the bottom of the first to take the lead. After Bradi Slawson reached on a Lady Panther error, Jaida Upchurch blasted a shot over the centerfielder’s head for a triple. A double by Allison Streetman drove in Upchurch to give Howe the 2-1 edge.
Bells came back in the second to re-gain the lead, but the Howe bats were active on this night.
Rachel White walked to open the bottom of the second and was replaced by courtesy runner Brittany Blum. Two Bells miscues moved Blum to third and she scored on a single by Emily Morgan. Pelt replaced Morgan as a courtesy runner and she went to second on a hit by Christina Counts. Courtney’s sacrifice bunt moved both runners up and they scored on more Bells bobbles.
The Lady Bulldogs scored the winning run in the third as Streetman collected the second of her three hits on the night.
A one-out double by White drove in Streetman as Howe takes the 7-5, upset win.
The Lady Bulldogs got off to a positive start in Callisburg on April 12 but could not sustain the early momentum, falling to the Lady Wildcats, 8-3.
Howe was trying to delay the Lady Cats clinching of the final playoff spot from District 11-2A, but fell short after that quick getaway.
A walk to Katy Courtney got the ball rolling for the Lady Bulldogs in the first inning as Bradi Slawson smacked a one-out single. Jaida Upchurch grounded out to the third, advancing both Courtney and Slawson into scoring position and Allison Streetman banged a two-RBI double to plate them both.
Howe got the bases loaded in the third but could not score.
In the top of the fourth, Rachel White got her first home run of the year, for the Lady Bulldogs final run of the contest.
A walk to Courtney and back-to-back errors by the Lady Cats allowed Morgan Scribner and Upchurch to reach, however, the Lady Cats worked out of that bases loaded jam as well.
Emily Morgan had a 2-for-3 night at the plate, while Slawson had a hit in half of her four trips to the dish.