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MANLY – The Charles City softball team continued to dominate the competition on Wednesday, improving to 25-0 with an 8-1 win over Central Springs. Pitcher Samantha Heyer allowed just three hits, and had 13 strikeouts.

In the fourth inning, Charles City scored four runs against Central Springs starter Hannah Ausenhus. Senior Lydia Staudt led off the inning with a bunt single. Shortstop Rachel Chambers then laid down a bunt single of her own, and both runners then scored when freshman Ashlyn Hoeft hit a three-run home run over the left-field wall. Another run scored later in the inning, to give the Comets a 4-0 lead.

In the top of the fifth, Abigayle Angell hit a solo home run, to finally put the Panthers on the board. Charles City followed that up with three runs in the fifth, thanks to another home run by Hoeft, which put the Comets up, 7-1.

In the fifth inning, Heyer struck out Panthers left fielder Aurora Stepleton, for her 800th career strikeout. Heyer had no idea she was approaching the milestone, and was confused when coach Brian Bohlen came out to the mound. She thought she was being removed from the game, and at that point, she had allowed only two base-runners. 

“I don’t look at stats or anything, I just play the game. I didn’t know what was going on,” Heyer said. “They got me good. I was like ‘Why is he coming out right now?’ It was fun.”

Bohlen wanted the moment to be special for Heyer, and once he broke the news, the infielders all cheered and hugged their senior pitcher. So far this season, Heyer has struck out 226 batters.

“She had no idea,” Bohlen said. “She said ‘What’s this about?’” and I told her ‘Congratulations, that was your 800th strikeout.’ She’s one of those kids that doesn’t want to be in the spotlight. She doesn’t want the notoriety. She just wants to come out, work hard, and do the best job for the team. Ultimately, she is about the team.

Heyer has had an outstanding season thus far. She has a 23-0 record, and came into Wednesday’s matchup with an ERA of 0.35, and an opponent batting average of .059. Her strikeout to walk ratio is an impressive 226/16, and she has pitched 107 of the Comets’ 120 innings played this season.

“It’s amazing having (Heyer) on our team,” Bohlen said. “She can do what she wants to with the ball on the mound. She can move it. She has success because she has put in the work. She’s put in thousands and thousands of pitches in the offseason to get herself to where she is at right now.”

Charles City will continue their season on Thursday, with a game at New Hampton. Central Springs will play Thursday, against Saint Ansgar.

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