McALESTER — Savanna pitcher Bryn Houlton allowed a leadoff single to Stacey Washington in the top of the first inning.
Houlton wouldn’t allow another hit through the next six.
Houlton allowed just three unearned runs in seven innings, striking out 10 and giving up just one hit to help the Lady Bulldogs beat the McAlester Lady Buffaloes, 7-3 on Tuesday at the Pittsburg County Softball Complex in McAlester.
Savanna finished its regular season 23-5, while McAlester fell to 13-16 and has now lost 10 consecutive games.
“We still have energy, but they know,” McAlester coach Justin Bond said. “They know that we have to turn it around, and we have to turn it around on the field.”
Though she pitched well through the first three innings, Houlton really found her groove in the bottom of the fourth. McAlester had scored two unearned runs when catcher Jordin Wilson for the second time in the game threw her pickoff-attempt at third into the outfield, allowing Heather Morgano and April Calistro to score, but Houlton came back and struck out Kylie Impson to maintain a 4-3 Savanna lead.
Houlton then struck out the side in the top of the fifth. She went on retire her final 10 batters faced, pitching 1-2-3 innings in the sixth and seventh and getting Impson to ground out softly to second to end the game.
Savanna coach Angie Wilson credited Houlton’s success in part to the playcalling of catcher Jordin Wilson.
“She’s very knowledgeable behind the plate,” Coach Wilson said of Jordin. “She knows what they can hit and what causes popups and what causes grounders.”
Down 1-0 in the bottom of the second, Savanna used smallball to take the only lead it'd need all game, with Rosiemae Martinez walking and Baleigh Drake bunting both Martinez and herself into scoring position. Lady Dawgs nine-hole hitter Hailey Wilson then hit a soft roller towards second and beat the throw to first, driving in the game-tying run.