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Comets drop 1st game of DH vs. Indians; 2nd game to be played Thursday morning

Comets drop 1st game of DH vs. Indians; 2nd game to be played Thursday morning
Press photo by John Burbridge
Rachel Chambers throws across the diamond while Charles City pitcher Natalie White ducks to give her a throwing lane during a 5-3 putout in the first game of Tuesday’s DH against Waukon. The hosting Indians won the first game 8-7 before rain postponed the second game to be played Thursday morning starting at 10 a.m. in Waukon.

By John Burbridge

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WAUKON — It’s the time of the season where teams like the Waukon Indians become dangerous.

That is if you consider spoilers as dangerous.

In Northeast Iowa Conference softball standings, the Indians are safely embedded in sixth place.

Conversely, the Charles City Comets are atop the NEIC — but not safely atop.

The Decorah Vikings are breathing down their necks as the regular-season-finale doubleheader between the two teams on July 5 at Comet Field will likely determine the conference champion, though Crestwood — who recently defeated the Comets in Charles City — is also in the running.

That’s why Waukon’s 8-7 victory over the Comets on Tuesday — where the Indians twice erased multi-run deficits — just added a little more intrigue to the situation.

For Waukon, it mostly started at the top with leadoff hitter Jayden Knox going 3 for 3 with a double, triple, 2 runs scored, 2 RBIs and a sacrifice bunt.

Sophomore Cameron Johnson picked up the complete-game win as only 3 of the 7 runs scored against her were earned.

Though Charles City was able to take advantage of several Indian miscues, Waukon’s defense for the most part was solid up the middle. The Comets repeatedly tested freshman shortstop Mari Delaney with hard-hit grounders — several ranging to her left and right — only to have Delaney field them flawlessly and complete the putouts with strong, accurate throws to first.

After Lydia Staudt’s leadoff single to start the game helped Charles City jump out to a 2-0 lead, the Comets were held to that one hit through four innings before rallying for 3 runs in the fifth to tie the game at 5-5. Rachel Chambers’s RBI-double off the bottom of the left-field fence chased home the tying run.

With 2 runs in the sixth inning, Charles City went up 7-5 before Waukon rallied for 3 runs in the bottom half of the sixth to regain the lead again for good.

The loss dropped the Comets to 13-7 overall and — more importantly — 9-3 in the NEIC just barely ahead of Decorah (8-3) and Crestwood (7-3) as of scores reported on Tuesday.

For the Indians, it was only their second win in conference play (2-11) and sixth win overall (6-14).

The Comets would have liked to have taken the long trip back to Charles City on a higher note by way of winning the nightcap. But before the second game was to commence, the game was delayed due to an approaching thunderstorm.

After about an hour of rain — some of it hard — and lightning appearing like pulsating veins on the skin of the storm clouds, the second game was postponed to Thursday morning.

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