COMMERCE — A day after falling out of the top spot in the District 10-3A standings, the Howe Lady Bulldogs moved back to the top of a crowded back with an 8-6 victory over Commerce on Tuesday, April 3.
Howe (8-10, 6-2) moved back into first place by a half game over Leonard, which beat the Lady Bulldogs Monday to move into first for a brief stay. The two teams both have two losses and are just a game in front of Farmersville, Whitewright and Lone Oak going into the final two weeks of the season.
Peyton Streetman was 2-for-5 with a triple, drove in a run and scored twice, Cassidy Anderson singled and drove in two, Erin Blackburn tripled, walked twice, drove in a run and scored twice, Hannah Dwyer was 2-for-4 and scored and Payton Griffin tripled, drove in a run and scored for Howe.
The Lady Bulldogs jumped to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Streetman took second on a one-out error, went to third on a passed ball and scored on Anderson’s groundout to the pitcher.
Commerce tied the game in the bottom of the inning on a fielder’s choice and the deadlock remained until Anderson’s RBI single to center in the third.
In the top of the fourth, Howe took a 4-1 lead on back-to-back two-out triples. Dwyer went to second on a one-out error and then stole third. After a flyout, Blackburn tripled to left and then Streetman followed with a triple to center.
The Lady Bulldogs pushed their lead to 6-1 in the fifth. Torrey Stubblefield was on via a leadoff error and then Griffin tripled with one out. She then scored on Chloe Loftice’s groundout to first.
Commerce scored a pair of runs on back-to-back two-out singles in the bottom of the inning to trim the deficit to three runs.
Stubblefield got one of those runs back with an RBI single to plate Blackburn in the sixth.
The Lady Tigers nearly tied the score in the bottom of the inning. A double, RBI single and walk opened the frame and an RBI groundout for the second out of the inning made it 7-5. Commerce pulled within a run on an ensuing single and had the tying run at third and the go-ahead run at first but couldn’t complete the rally.
Loftice scored on a two-out error for some insurance in the top of the seventh and Commerce went in order in its final chance to force extra innings.