Comets come from behind to defeat Indians 7-6
By John Burbridge
CHARLES CITY — Even nowadays in Major League Baseball, a call to the bullpen doesn’t always mean an early shower for the starter who will never be seen again — or at least for the remainder of the game.
With a little managerial wizardry, relieved pitchers can return to the mound — provided that they have stayed in the game at another position.
In high school softball, players can re-enter the game. So when a starting pitcher returns to the circle after being relieved, it’s a little more usual.
After pitching three innings during Tuesday’s non-conference softball game against Forest City, Charles City sophomore Olivia Litterer came back to close the game in the top of the seventh.
Litterer left the game with the Indians leading 3-1. Against Comet reliever Natalie White, Forest City added another run through the next three innings, but were trailing 7-4 going into the seventh.
The Indians rallied for 2 runs and had the tying run at third base, but Litterer shut the door with a third-out strikeout to cap a 7-6 Comet victory.
Against Indian senior Alyson Walker, the Comets were for the most part held in check through four innings. But when Rachel Chambers led off the fifth with a towering solo home run that sent the fans sitting high in the back row of the center-field bleachers scurrying for cover, it was the start of a 5-run rally that put the Comets up for good.
Kiki Connell had three hits, three stolen bases and an RBI; Ava Ellis was 2 for 4 with a double; Allie Cross had two hits; and Ashlyn Hoeft doubled and later scored the Comets’ final run in the sixth on Alex Wohlers’s sacrifice fly for Charles City.
Ellis Caylor and Hannah Anderson each had three hits for the Indians (2-7).
On Thursday during the Comets’ Northeast Iowa Conference game against hosting New Hampton, Chambers homered again, but it wasn’t as prestigious as her blast against the Indians as this one barely cleared the right-center field fence.
Yet, it delivered four times the damage as Chambers’s grand-slam — her seventh HR of the season — helped the Comets pull away from the Chickasaws in an 18-3 final called after six innings.
Chambers also doubled in 2 runs.
Hoeft, also hit her seventh homer of the season against NH — a 3-run opposite field dinger to go with an RBI double.
Staudt, who is among the state leaders in hits and singles, added four more to that total in both categories.
Connell, who with Staudt is among the state leaders in stolen bases, was 3 for 4 with four stolen bases.
Cross had three hits and Ava Ellis had two hits for the Comets who — in addition to scoring 4 runs in the second on Chambers’s granny — added 6 runs in the third and 7 runs in the sixth to help end it early.
Dani Reetz picked up her seventh win of the season while going the six-inning distance.
The win was the Comets’ sixth in a row as it improved them to 12-3 overall and 5-0 in the NEIC.