Engler pitches Atlantic past Cyclones, 4-1

 ATLANTIC (June 24) -- The Atlantic softball team beat Harlan Community for the third time this season on Thursday, winning 4-1 to complete a Hawkeye Ten sweep and put itself in the driver’s seat for a conference championship.
 The seventh-ranked (3A) Trojans plated three runs in the top of the first off Cyclone junior Tianna Kasperbauer and Atlantic senior ace Olivia Engler took care of the rest, allowing only an unearned run in the third as part of her two-hitter with eight strikeouts. Engler retired 12 straight batters to finish the game.
 The Trojans improved to 26-5 overall and 15-1 in conference play, increasing their lead over HCHS (20-9, 12-3) to two and a half games with four to go. The Cyclones are tied for second place with Creston (11-3 H-10) in the loss column.
 Kasperbauer (10-2) suffered just her second loss of the year, allowing four hits and three runs (one earned) in two innings. She walked two and had two strikeouts.
 Emily Brouse pitched in relief and quieted Atlantic until the sixth when Madison Botos hit a two-out RBI single to score Kennedy Goergen. Brouse allowed two hits in four innings, walked three and struck out eight.
 The Trojans’ three-run first included a leadoff single by Botos, an error, Alyssa Derby’s RBI double and a two-out, two-RBI single from Lauren Nicholas. Botos finished the game 3-for-4.
 HCHS scored its only run in the third after Madison Schumacher led off with a single and reached second base on an error. Courtesy runner Miranda Goetz later scored on Kennedy Kjergaard’s sac bunt.
 Julia Schechinger had the only other hit for the Cyclones, who saw their five-game winning streak come to an end.

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