Cyclones swept in softball doubleheader
The HCHS varsity softball team early season struggles continued Tuesday night at home as they hosted the Creston Panthers in a doubleheader, dropping both games and got outscored 26-2.
“I think right now, they’re really just working on their mental toughness and getting better every single game with that,” said Cyclones Head Coach Brandi Eckles. “I have yet to ever see them give up.”
In game one, the Panthers bats came alive early with 11 of their 14 runs in the first three innings, including home runs from Daile Keeler, Jersey Foote and Nevaeh Randall.
Cyclone eighth grader Camryn Goshorn got the ball to start the night for Harlan going three innings, giving up 11 runs on seven hits with three strikeouts. Jenna Gessert came in for the final four innings and had her strongest outing to this point in the season. Gessert allowed three runs on three hits with one strikeout.
“She did a good job,” Eckles said of Gessert. “My pitchers right now are struggling a little bit with hitting their spots, so that can be a little frustrating and so they just need to keep working on that.”
The Cyclones were able to muster up some runs to avoid the mercy rule scoring two runs in the bottom of the 4th inning when Abbie Schechinger knocked in Ella Plagman on an RBI double after Plagman opened the inning with a single. Suzy Kenkel later knocked in Schechinger on an RBI single as the Cyclones finished the inning with two runs on two hits.
The Panthers added three more runs in the top of the 7th inning, winning that game 14-2.
Game 2: Cyclones 0, Panthers 12
Freshman Cyclone Lauren Schmitz got the ball to open game 2 of the doubleheader and had two scoreless innings to start, but ran into some trouble in the top of the third inning, giving up six runs.
“As far as the second game goes, Lauren Schmitz started and she hit all of her spots and that’s exactly what we need,” Eckles said. “Even if we don’t have the speed, we need to be able to hit our spots.”
Gessert took over in the top of the 4th as Schmitz only recorded one out. Gessert gave up three runs on six hits and walked two batters.
Offensively, the Cyclones didn’t score, but were able to get hits from Schechinger and Kenkel.
The Panthers were led once again by Randall who hit another home run in game two. Ava Adamson had three hits and drove in two runs along with Sophie Hagle and Caitlin Bruce who each had a hit and knocked in two runs.
The game lasted just four innings with the Panthers winning 12-0 in four innings via the mercy rule.
For the Cyclones, they will head out on the road Tuesday to take on the 3-3 Lewis Central Titans. The Titans are led by Connie Brougham with six hits and Haylee Wilcox with four runs batted in. On the mound, Cami Damgaard has one win with 13 strikeouts.
“Every single team we play we’re always just thinking they are going to be tough and we need to keep working,” Eckles said. “I have a lot of inexperienced people on the field and I think they just need to get some innings under their belts and keep working hard.”