HCHS sophomore Morgan Schaben leads her teammates through the handshake line following Thursday’s eight-inning 3-2 loss to Nevada in Class 4-A regional play. Cyclone second baseman Kennadi Carey throws out a runner.

Nevada ends Cyclone softball season in 4-A regional opener

HCHS falls 3-2 in eight innings, finishes 12-22

 HARLAN (July 6) -- In a season marked by inexperience and growing pains, the 2017 Harlan Community softball team mixed flashes of potential with youthful mistakes in a constant battle to get over the hump.
 The same could be said about Thursday’s Class 4-A regional quarterfinal game vs. Nevada.
 Taking an early 1-0 lead and tying the score at 2-2 in the third, HCHS managed just two hits the rest of the way and was bounced from postseason play in the first round, 3-2, in eight innings.
 Nevada, which entered the night with just three wins, played well above its record using a combination of timely hits and solid defense. The Cubs (4-20) took the lead on eighth-grader Addi Vorm’s RBI single in the top of the eighth and finished off the win when junior Mackenzie Garrett retired the Cyclones in order in the bottom half, capped by her sixth and seventh strikeouts.
 HCHS sophomore Morgan Schaben notched 15 strikeouts and allowed just five hits in defeat, but it wasn’t enough as the Cyclones stranded seven runners and finished 12-22 overall.
 “(Nevada) played a good game. They played to win,” said HCHS head coach Brooke Schaben. “We hit a lot of balls hard (but) we just couldn’t get that clutch hit with runners on base... We just couldn’t push them around.”
 It will be interesting to watch the progress of HCHS and Nevada over the next few years as neither team features a senior on its entire roster. The Cyclones’ 10-player lineup Thursday included six eighth-graders who have basically started all season, two juniors and two sophomores, and Coach Schaben is already looking forward to next summer.

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