Lady Toppers win in tourney

Houston coach Jeffery Mann had some spots to fill on the fast pitch field this spring, but Saturday’s wins saw them covered pretty well.
“I lost both pitchers and my catcher off last year’s team, so we are young in that department as far as experience,” Mann said. “Madeline Burdine and Taylor Lancaster have stepped in and did a great job pitching to start off the year. M.K. Sullivan has taken over duties behind the plate and does a solid job.”
The Lady Toppers trailed the Lady Rams, 1-2, after two inning in their first game Saturday, but the third inning put them back on track.
Josie Anderson and Chelsea Gates both reached safely on bunts with Gates moving Anderson to third and stealing second on Chelsea Robinson’s at-bat. Anderson scored on a pass ball and Sullivan scored Gates on a sacrifice fly. Talaja Echoles didn’t quite get her signature homer, but her triple off the centerfield fence scored Sullivan and Burdine’s sac bunt sent her home with a 5-2 lead for the Houston girls.
The Lady Toppers went on to take a 7-2 win over Vardaman and shutout West Point, 14-0.
“We’ve gotten off to a good start,” Mann said. “Our defense has had a good start to the year. It’ll take time to figure out what works best for us. Chelsea Gates and Talaja Echoles lead us on the offensive and defensive side of things. Everyone feeds off them and I need them to have a good year and show some junior and senior leadership.”
The Lady Toppers were scheduled to host Amory Monday, weather permitting, and will head to East Webster Thursday as the 2013 4A State runners-up will take on last year’s 2A State champions.
“Tough matchup,” said Mann.web hst soft web hst soft2 web hst soft3