Cyclones take over Hawkeye Ten softball lead

Thursday night sweeps - HCHS over Shenandoah, Glenwood over Atlantic - result in new conference leader

 HARLAN (June 20) -- It was a trade the Harlan Community softball team gladly accepted.
 On the same day the Cyclones fell out of the 4A state rankings after a one-week stint at No. 14, they moved into sole possession of first place in the Hawkeye Ten Conference.
 HCHS swept Shenandoah 5-0 and 5-2 in a well-played doubleheader at H. Jack Field Thursday night while No. 13 (3A) Atlantic was swept at home by Glenwood 6-4 and 10-8. The result was a shift on the H-10 leaderboard as the Cyclones (19-5 overall) moved into first place with a 12-1 conference record while the Trojans (21-5) slipped to second place at 12-2.
 HCHS hosted Atlantic Monday night looking to strengthen its grip on first and avenge a 6-5 loss from June 4 in which it committed five errors and let a pair of late one-run leads slip away.
 “We’re just really excited for (Monday) just to come out (vs.) Atlantic,” said HCHS head coach Brooke Wilson. “We’ve got a chip on our shoulder about that for sure, so that will be really fun and it’s Senior Night.”
 Thursday’s twin bill saw neither side commit an error as HCHS outhit the Fillies 6-2 in game one and 10-6 in the night cap behind impressive pitching performances by Morgan Schaben and Tianna Kasperbauer, who struck out a combined 21 batters while issuing just one free pass.
 Schaben also belted a three-run homer in game one as the Cyclones scored all five of their runs in the third inning.
HCHS 5, Shenandoah 0
 Striking out eight of the first nine batters she faced in game one, Schaben (15-5) allowed just three base runners in pitching a two-hitter with one walk and 14 Ks.
 Kate Heithoff ignited the Cyclones’ five-run third with a double, Aurora Miller walked and Schaben then blasted her fifth home run of the year out to right-center field to make it 3-0.
HCHS 5, Shenandoah 2
 Game two was a bit more competitive as the Fillies took a 2-1 lead in the top of the third. Kasperbauer (4-0) was in total control the rest of the way, however, retiring the final 12 batters she faced following Natalie Gilbert’s leadoff single in the fourth. She pitched a five-hitter with seven strikeouts and did not walk a batter in her first start in the circle since June 6.
 For HCHS, Schumacher hit an RBI double in the first and Schaben tied the score at 2-2 with her RBI double in the third. The Cyclones’ two-run fifth started with a single by Heithoff and a bunt single by Miller. With the bases loaded and two out, Heese blooped a go-ahead two-run single to left. One inning later, Heithoff’s RBI double plated Kasperbauer to make it 5-2.

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