HCHS senior Molly Gubbels makes a running catch in left field. (Photo by Mike Oeffner)   Sergeant Bluff-Luton's Kylie Kerr slides home safely as Cyclone catcher Madison Schumacher waits for a throw during the Warriors' 5-3 win at H. Jack Field.

Cyclone softball team falls to Warriors

 HARLAN (May 30) -- Harlan Community softball coach Brooke Schaben is confident that at some point this season her young team will get past all the growing pains and learn to win the close ones against tough competition.
 Wednesday night marked another step in that process as the Cyclones battled hard but came up short in a 5-3 loss to ninth-ranked (4A) Sergeant Bluff-Luton at H. Jack Field.
 HCHS outhit the Warriors 7-6 but was held back by a couple of youthful base-running mistakes, two outfield errors and a shortage of clutch hitting. The Cyclones left the bases loaded in the sixth inning and stranded two more runners in the seventh.
 Starting a combination of six freshmen and eighth-graders on most nights, the Cyclones (3-4 overall) have been competitive in their four losses - all against quality opponents - but are still looking to get over the hump with a breakthrough win.
 “We’re doing a lot of learning right now,” Schaben said. “I think that the game is a lot faster than they’re used to... just a lot of different game situations. It’s a negative at the time, but all we can do is just learn from it and try to clean it up. It seems like we’re just right there and it’s one hit away or one less error away.”
 Junior Morgan Schaben (3-3) took the loss against SB-L, allowing six hits and five runs in seven innings. She walked two batters and struck out nine.
 Kate Heithoff, Schaben and Madison Schumacher all finished with two hits for the Cyclones, including Schaben’s game-tying RBI single in the first inning.

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