HOWE — The Lady Bulldogs managed to snuff out an early Lone Oak lead to snag the 6-5 victory in District 10-3A action that clinched a playoff spot on Thursday, April 12.

Lone Oak jumped on Howe starter Torrey Stubblefield early in the top of the first inning two singles into left to get the inning rolling for the Lady Buffaloes. Sloppy infield work that led to a costly error by Howe allowed Lone Oak to take a 2-0 lead.

The core of the Lady Bulldogs lineup responded in the bottom of the first — Peyton Streetman sent a screamer into center field for a single. Cassidy Anderson followed up with a long RBI double to left field. Stubblefield helped herself out with a monster triple to center that tied the game at two. Payton Griffin put Howe on top with a sacrifice fly and giving the Lady Bulldogs a 3-2 lead.

The Lady Buffaloes provided more pressure in the top of the third — a bunt single started the inning. Howe caused its own problems again with two more errors in the inning that led to two more runs and saw the home team trailing 5-3.

After picking up a run in the bottom of the third, the Lady Bulldogs made their final push in the bottom of the fourth — a hit by pitch put Erin Blackburn on the bases and Streetman moved her up with a groundout. Anderson brought Streetman across with an RBI single into right field and Stubblefield brought Anderson home with an RBI double.

With this win, the Lady Bulldogs moved a half-game in front of Leonard for first place in a battle that will come down to the final day of the regular season to determine the top two spots in the standings.

“Errors hurt us in this game and made it closer than it should have been,” Howe coach Tiffany Moreland said. “It feels good to be in first right now but we have some things that we need to work through.”

Stubblefield allowed 6 hits, no earned runs and picked up nine strikeouts.

Anderson went 2-for-3 with two RBI, Stubblefield went 2-for-4 with two RBI and Griffin went 1-for-1 and drove in a run.

The Lady Bulldogs will hope to keep the wins coming against Van Alstyne on Tuesday, April 17.