HOWE — The saying goes that revenge is a dish best served cold and Whitewright chose a chilly night to get back at Howe.

HOWE — The saying goes that revenge is a dish best served cold and Whitewright chose a chilly night to get back at Howe.


After dropping the District 11-2A softball opener by one run to the Lady Bulldogs for its lone loss in league play, the Whitewright Lady Tigers scored on a passed ball in the fifth inning to hand Howe a 6-5 home loss on Friday.


Whitewright first baseman Anna Shope said vengeance was on the mind of her district-leading team.


"It was huge," Shope said. "We haven’t lost to a district opponent (since the opener) so it was kind of like a little bit of revenge for us."


Whitewright (21-2, 8-1) scored twice in the first and three times in the third, but Howe (17-6, 5-4) answered with identical outputs in the bottom halves of each inning. The deciding run came in the fifth when Whitewright’s Tucker Caraway scored on a passed ball.


Lady Tigers head coach Phil Shope said the key to the win was the zero his team had in the boxscore under "errors" at the end of the game — a continuation of Whitewright’s recent streak of improved defensive play.


"We knew it was going to be a tough ball game over here at their place and we did enough to win," Phil Shope said. "When you don’t make errors and you play defense the way we played tonight, you have a great chance to win. I’m real proud of our kids (for) the way we played defensively the last few weeks."


Anna Shope overcame a recent slump at the plate to finish 2-for-4 with four runs batted in, including the first two runs of the game with a single that drove in Hatty Shope and Keely Selman. Hatty Shope, who finished 2-for-4, had reached on a single before Selman, who went 2-for-4 with two doubles and scored twice, doubled her to third.


Howe responded in the bottom of the first with junior Peyton Tinney’s two-run double that drove in freshman Madisyn Hargrove and senior Jada Upchurch. Tinney finished the game 2-for-3 with three RBI and scored once.


Whitewright regained the lead at 5-2 in the top of the third with the help of Anna Shope’s two-run, inside-the-park home run that broke the tie. Sierra Cate singled in Caraway for the third run of the inning.


The Lady Bulldogs answered in the bottom half of the inning when Tinney, sophomore Alyson Streetman and senior Michelle Duffy each drove in one run with a single. Upchurch was 3-for-4 with two runs scored while Streetman was 2-for-3 and drove in one run.


Hargrove, who also started in the opener, struck out four batters and walked three in seven innings of work in the loss. With two players out of the game with injuries, including starting catcher Dani Ross, Howe head coach Jennifer Sluder said she knew topping the district leader would be a challenge.


"They’re the No. 1 team in our district and we knew coming in that it wouldn’t be easy and that they just wouldn’t give it to us," Sluder said. "We knew we needed to do whatever we could to get runs. At least I can say they were aggressive and never gave in."


Whitewright pitcher Tori Perkins also went the distance, striking out two and walking one.


Riding an eight-game winning streak, the Lady Tigers’ coach was cautiously optimistic about the possibility of winning a district title.


"We’ve got a lot of challenges still ahead of us to even think about winning district," Phil Shope said. "I know it’s a cliché but we’ll take it one game at a time. We’re after the district championship but our attention is on the next game."


Anna Shope was more direct about Whitewright’s status.


"We’re very confident," Anna Shope said. "We have really good pitchers and our defense is pretty unstoppable right now."