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Saturday, November 1, 2014

CMSV softball pitcher scores smokin' strikeout streak

By Chris Mascaro
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Marisol Díaz/The Riverdale Press
Mackenzie Heizer
Marisol Díaz/The Riverdale Press
Mackenzie Heizer pitcher for the College of Mount Saint Vincent stands with her catcher Danielle Kirrane on March 21.
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How dominant was College of Mount St. Vincent softball pitcher Mackenzie Heizer in her seven-inning no-hitter against Lehman College on Mar. 18? The only out she recorded that wasn’t a strikeout was a blast to deep left field. And it came from the final batter of the game.

“A towering fly ball,” Heizer called it.

But Alondra Soroa, a freshman out of DeWitt Clinton High, snagged the ball one foot in front of the fence to cap Heizer’s stellar college pitching debut. The freshman struck out 20, including the first 15 batters of the game, and allowed only three Lehman players to reach base — one hit by pitch, one walk and one error.

“Basically, I was just really in the zone, taking it pitch-by-pitch,” Heizer said. “My teammates were really fired up about it. They were joking around with me in the [pitching] circle, just trying to keep it light.”

CMSV won the game 9-0 after winning the first game of the doubleheader 18-5. Heizer, playing second base in game 1, went 3-for-5 with a double, three RBIs and three runs.

Her no-hitter in game 2 resonated all the way to Heizer’s hometown of Vacaville in northern California, where her parents were sneaking away from company to get updates on their computer.

“I called my mom when I got back to my dorm and she and my father were very excited for me,” said the 19 year old, who added that she had not thrown a no-hitter since she was with her 15-year-old travel team. “They had all kinds of questions.”

One question might have been: How did a girl from northern California, where the temperature hit the low 70s last weekend, dominate in the cold weather of the northeast?

With the temperature in the low 40s, Heizer made sure to put on a sweatshirt as soon as she came to the bench between each half-inning, and she and catcher Kierstyn Bourdeau went inside in the 20 minutes between games to warm up.

“That was the coldest I’ve ever played,” Heizer said. “I was just trying to stay loose and make sure my muscles didn’t lock up. Just think warm thoughts.”

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