HOUGHTON - A big sixth inning earned Houghton what would eventually be a split of a non-league softball doubleheader with Ironwood Tuesday.
The Gremlins scored six runs in the decisive frame en route to a 7-4 win in the opener before falling 10-4 in the finale.
Houghton had nursed a 1-0 lead earned on Jessica Schlaff's second-inning RBI single into the top of the sixth before going behind for the first time all day. Ironwood put up three but its lead proved to be short-lived. The first two Gremlin runners reached on a walk and an error, then Houghton started driving them in: Kenna Farrey and Bekah Goodreau had RBI singles to tie the game, then Ashlyn Kero turned the lineup over and gave Houghton the lead with an RBI triple to right, scoring Farrey and Goodreau. Kero came in on a Lexi Pyykkonen RBI groundout, then Deanna Bigelow singled and eventually scored on an RBI groundout by Lisa Keskimaki, one of 10 Houghton batters in the inning.
Houghton pitcher Colleen Toorongian delivers during the seventh inning of Game 1 of a doubleheader against Ironwood Tuesday.
Ironwood's leadoff hitter singled and later scored in the top of the seventh, but Houghton retired the side before the Red Devil threat became serious.
Colleen Toorongian got the win, allowing six hits and no earned runs. She struck out seven and walked four.
Anna Gaffney had a single and a double for Houghton; Farrey had a pair of singles.
Houghton had an early lead in game two when their three-run first outshone Ironwood's two, but the Red Devils kept the bats rolling when the Gremlins didn't.
Houghton loaded the bases with two out in the first on singles from Bella Maki, Keskimaki and a walk to Anna Gaffney. Maki scored when Toorongian was hit by a pitch, Keskimaki came in on a wild pitch and Gaffney on a passed ball.
The Gremlins failed to get on the board again until the fifth when Gaffney walked and later scored on a Toorongian groundout, but by that point it only cut the gap to 7-4 and Ironwood tacked on three more runs in the next half-inning.
Goodreau took the loss, allowing nine earned runs on 13 hits. She walked seven and struck out one.