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Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016

Oran pitcher Kielhofner firing strikes from start of campaign

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Callie Kielhofner
ORAN -- If the effort of Oran High School pitcher Callie Kielhofner holds true to form, the Lady Eagles are going to be tough to beat in 2007.

Kielhofner has been named The Standard Democrat's initial "Athlete of the Week" for the fall sports season based on her performance on the diamond for the week of Aug. 20-26.

It was a week where Kielhofner earned two pitching victories by dominating hitters from St. Vincent and East Prairie. In 13 innings pitched, she allowed one earned run on two hits with 10 strikeouts and no walks. Her ERA is a miniscule 0.54 and hitters have a .049 batting average against Kielhofner.

"I've surprised myself with my pitching and hitting," Kielhofner said. "Those were two things I worked on this summer when I played for Chaffee's 16-

and-under traveling softball team."

Kielhofner, a senior, has proved that she's not a one-dimensional player. After going 0-for-4 at the plate against St. Vincent, she responded with a 2-

for-3 effort at-bat versus East Prairie. That calculates to a .286 batting mark this season.

"She has opened up great for us," Oran High School varsity softball coach Sarah Heisserer said. "At first, I wasn't sure how Callie was going to handle it, but she has been impressive and has set a high precedent for us.

"I moved her down in the order for the game against East Prairie because I think she may have some jitters at the plate in our opener. In that game, all our bottom three hitters carried us at the plate."

Kielhofner, who also plays volleyball, is happy that Oran has made the switch to having softball as a fall sport -- even if it means leaving out some social activities.

"I am so excited, as are the rest of my teammates, to play fall softball because now we have the chance to face larger schools," Kielhofner said. "It's going to really show us what kind of team we have."

Oran, which completed the spring

season of softball with a 17-1 overall record, is off to a 3-0 start this fall. Kielhofner was credited with all 17 of the Lady Eagles' wins as a junior.

Heisserer, who is in her first year as Oran's softball coach, has seen a change in Kielhofner over the first month of the season.

"I've noticed that the speed of her pitches has increased," Heisserer said.

"Callie had some arm problems because of the techniques she was using. But after she worked with our trainer, those problems were straightened out and she's throwing harder without any pain."