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No. 3-ranked Comets sweep Go-Hawks, improve to 19-0

No. 3-ranked Comets sweep Go-Hawks, improve to 19-0
Press photo by John Burbridge
Charles City freshman Ashlyn Hoeft hits a 2-run homer in the second game of the Comets doubleheader sweep of Waverly-Shell Rock on Thursday.

By John Burbridge

CHARLES CITY — Waverly-Shell Rock senior Molly McNally got her Go-Hawks off to good starts in both ends of Thursday’s softball doubleheader against Charles City.

In the first game, McNally rapped a solid single to left-center field on the first pitch delivered by Comet ace Sami Heyer.

So there goes the no-hitter.

Then to start the second game, McNally — again facing Heyer — drove a pitch over the centerfield fence for a solo home run.

So there goes the shutout.

But even though both games began well for the Go-Hawks, they ended much in the same manner with the Class 4A No. 3-ranked Comets sweeping their Northeast Iowa Conference foe with mercy-rule-shortened finals of 12-0 and 13-1.

Thursday’s matchup was originally scheduled to be single varsity game, but due to lightning and threatening weather postponing the second game of May 28th doubleheader in Waverly, the nightcap was tacked onto Thursday’s game at Sportsmen’s Park.

Even though Charles City’s home fans got to see an added “bonus” game, less than seven full innings were actually played.

Then again if you came to see a dominating offense, you got your money’s worth as the Comets did plenty of damage in their six half-frames at bat.

Comet freshman Ashlyn Hoeft was 5 for 5 for the day, including a 2-run homer in the second game.

Rachel Chambers, another Charles City freshman, also had a big night at the plate with four hits, including a 3-run homer in the first game and a 2-run double in the second game. Chambers also had a pair of RBI singles for a total of 7 runs batted in.

Junior leadoff hitter Liz Fiser was 5 for 6 during the DH while scoring 5 runs. In the second game, Fizer scored from second base on a bunt single from Lydia Staudt.

Comet freshman Staudt and sophomore Kiki Connell each had three hits during the DH.
Comet sophomore Allie Cross had two hits in the first game, and junior Alex Litterer had two hits in the second game.

As for Heyer … the UNI-bound two-time all-stater managed to “settle down” after being rudely greeted by McNally in both games. Heyer went on to strike out six and yield no more hits through three innings before being relieved by Dani Reetz in the first game that lasted until the Comets rallied for 3 runs in the bottom of the fourth.

In the second game, Heyer again yielded no more hits and struck out six in three innings after getting touched by McNally. After Heyer sent the Go-Hawks down in order in the top of the third, the game was called sealing Heyer’s state-leading 18th win of the season.

Heyer also set what has to be a world record for the fastest grand-slam home run trot in the second game

During a decisive 8-run rally in the second inning with the bases loaded, Heyer drilled a pitch to deep left-center. It was one of the hardest balls hit by a Comet this season, and it appeared destined to leave the park’s fenced boundaries and cause at least $500 worth of damage to one of the vehicles parked behind the outfield bleachers.

But the ball hit high on one of the light poles and bounded back into the outfield. Thinking the ball was still in play, Heyer was racing around second with aspirations for a triple or maybe even an inside-the-park homer.

Head coach Brian Bohlen stopped her at third before she over-ran several teammates still on the basepaths — all three baserunners went into sauntering trots the second the ball went off Heyer’s bat.

After realizing that she didn’t hit a stand-up triple, Heyer eventually advanced to the final station where her teammates were gathered for the Comets’ trademark “splash-down” home run celebration.

As for NEIC championship celebrations … it may be a little early being we’re still in the second week of June, but the Comets — in addition to improving their undefeated overall record to a state-leading 19 victories — have improved to 11-0 in the conference.

New Hampton, which the Comets swept in a doubleheader on June 5, was 8-2 with the next-best NEIC standing going into Thursday’s action.

With weather and field conditions permitting, NEIC teams each play 18 conference games a season.