WAVERLY — When Charles City and Waverly-Shell Rock get together, an entertaining evening of softball usually follows.

Tuesday was no exception when the Comets paid the Go-Hawks a visit for an early season matchup of Northeast Iowa Conference rivals. There were big swings of the bat, outstanding pitching, sparkling defense and a spirited comeback before Charles City put the finishing touches on a 4-0, 7-6 sweep.

“They always have good teams, we always have good teams ... We know it’s always going to be a couple of good teams scrapping it out,” said Charles City head coach Brian Bohlen.

Game one belonged to Comet sophomore pitcher Sami Heyer, who had a lively rise ball the Waverly-Shell Rock hitters couldn’t resist. Heyer struck out 14 batters, including the first six of the game, and surrendered just one hit — a third-inning opposite-field double by Sara Carnes.

Waverly-Shell Rock sophomore Hanna Fanter matched Heyer for four innings with a little help from catcher Emma Robson, who threw out two would-be base stealers, but things came unraveled a bit in the fifth.

Bailey Mitchell got the Comets started with a leadoff single and Cianna Sonberg’s bunt went for a single, too, when the Go-Hawk defense had a communication breakdown. Fanter got the next two outs and should have been out of the inning before Payton Reams stepped to the plate and blasted a towering fly ball that sailed over the centerfield fence for a 3-0 lead. Sara Martin hammered a solo shot in the sixth, and that was that.

Charles City’s power surge continued in the second game as Kelby Katcher and Tayler Schmidt pounded back-to-back solo homers in the first inning. Martin increased the Comets’ lead to 4-1 with a two-run bomb in the fifth.

Heyer’s RBI double made it 5-1 in the sixth and Charles City appeared to be on a similar path as game one until Heyer lost touch with a small and challenging strike zone.

Four walks and a hit batter helped the Go-Hawks plate two runs in the sixth. Charles City got those back in the seventh on Mitchell’s two-run double off the fence in left, and that proved huge when Jaylie Reints drove a three-run homer over the fence in right in the bottom of the seventh.

“It was nice to see us continue to fight to the end,” said W-SR head coach Heather Zajicek. “It’s what we talk about, that never say die, never give up attitude.”

Heyer, however, struck out the final two batters to wrap up her second complete game of the day. She finished with 15 strikeouts, but seven walks.

“Sami threw two really good games,” said Bohlen. “She’s worked really hard in the offseason. We knew she had the stamina to go both games and she never really lost her velocity or her movement.

“Hitting-wise we did a really nice job of jumping on pitchers all night. There’s eight girls who can hit the ball out at any time. Right now they’re taking a really good approach at the plate. They’re doing a nice job of thinking in the batter’s box and the results are pretty positive when they really think for themselves in the box.”

Zajicek says her team will learn from Tuesday’s setbacks.

“When we play them, it’s a dogfight,” she said. “We’re rivals I guess for a reason. This doubleheader we came up short. Credit to them for doing what they needed to do. We just in the end didn’t put enough runs on the board for our pitching staff.”

Charles City 4-7, Wav.-S.R. 0-6

FIRST GAME

Charles City 000 031 0 — 4 7 0

Waverly-S.R. 000 000 0 — 0 1 1

Sami Heyer and Kelby Katcher. Hanna Fanter and Emma Robson. WP—Heyer. LP—Fanter. 2B—Tayler Schmidt (CC), Sara Carnes (W-SR). HR—Payton Reams (CC), Sara Martin (CC).

SECOND GAME

Charles City 200 021 2 — 7 8 0

Waverly-S.R. 100 002 3 — 6 5 1

Heyer and Katcher. Fanter, S. Carnes (6) and Robson, Emerson (6). WP—Heyer. LP—S. Carnes. 2B—Bailey Mitchell (CC), Heyer (CC), Fanter (W-SR). HR—Katcher (CC), Schmidt (CC), Martin (CC), Jaylie Reints (W-SR).

Records: Charles City 5-1, Waverly-Shell Rock 3-2.

Charles City 4-7, Wav.-S.R. 0-6

FIRST GAME

Charles City 000 031 0 — 4 7 0

Waverly-S.R. 000 000 0 — 0 1 1

Sami Heyer and Kelby Katcher. Hanna Fanter and Emma Robson. WP—Heyer. LP—Fanter. 2B—Tayler Schmidt (CC), Sara Carnes (W-SR). HR—Payton Reams (CC), Sara Martin (CC).

SECOND GAME

Charles City 200 021 2 — 7 8 0

Waverly-S.R. 100 002 3 — 6 5 1

Heyer and Katcher. Fanter, S. Carnes (6) and Robson, Emerson (6). WP—Heyer. LP—S. Carnes. 2B—Bailey Mitchell (CC), Heyer (CC), Fanter (W-SR). HR—Katcher (CC), Schmidt (CC), Martin (CC), Jaylie Reints (W-SR).

Records: Charles City 5-1, Waverly-Shell Rock 3-2.

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Sports Editor

Sports Editor for The Courier

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