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Cadets rally past Comets 8-2

Cadets rally past Comets 8-2
Press photo by John Burbridge
Charles City center fielder Lydia Staudt makes a leaping catch during Wednesday’s softball game against Crestwood.

By John Burbridge

CRESCO — Crestwood’s senior ace Laken Lienhard is softball’s answer to Cubs’ World Series-circa Kyle Hendricks in the way she changes speeds and uses every location that can be fitted within the strike zone.

Last season, she was a 22-game winner and recorded 315 strikeouts.

But you can’t fool all of the batters all of the time. Charles City cleanup hitter Allie Cross proved that in the first inning of Wednesday’s Northeast Iowa Conference matchup hosted by the Cadets.

In the first inning, Cross connected off Lienhard for a 2-run shot that cleared the left-field fence by more than 50 feet.

It gave the Comets a 2-0 lead.

The Cadets responded with a run in the bottom half of the first, but thanks to several Comet plays on several well-hit balls by the Cadets, the score remained 2-1 through three innings.

But Crestwood began to find some holes in the bottom of the fourth while taking advantage of extra outs, rallying for 5 runs before adding 2 more in the fifth on the way to an 8-2 final.

After Cross’s blast in the first, Lienhard was nearly untouchable for the remainder of the game. She only gave up one more hit — to sophomore Lydia Staudt, who had two hits for the day — while striking out 14 in the complete-game win.

The Comets (1-1 overall and in the NEIC) will try to get back in the win column Friday when they host Clear Lake in a non-conference game.