New Cyclone coach familiar with veteran team’s talent
HARLAN (June 4) -- Toshia Kasperbauer last coached the Harlan Community High School softball team in 2012, but she’s no stranger to the personnel of the 2020 Cyclones.
The five juniors and three sophomores on this year’s HCHS roster, including her daugher Tianna, all played travel ball for Kasperbauer during their youth. She’s also watched them closely during their first two to three years on the varsity.
Now, Kasperbauer is back as the Cyclones’ head coach, inheriting a team that returns 10 letter winners from last year’s Hawkeye Ten Conference title winner.
After about a month delay due to COVID-19, HCHS held its first practice Monday as preparations begin for the June 15 season opener at St. Albert.
“It’s a good feeling,” said Kasperbauer, who noted that even the girls she hasn’t coached before have been around her at school with student council and other activities.
“I’ve known these girls for a long time... Nobody really is on this team that doesn’t know me and doesn’t know how I deal with things. None of them are strangers, so that’s kind of nice. We can have a good time and joke around and I know their faults and I know their weaknesses and strengths and stuff like that.”
The Cyclones graduated just one senior from last year’s 28-8 campaign, but it was a key piece in first team all-stater Morgan Schaben, who batted .472 with nine homers, 15 doubles and 43 RBI while going 22-7 with 260 strikeouts as the team’s ace pitcher.
A few other players with varsity experience elected not to go out this year, but the bulk of the team remains intact, led by returning first team all-conference picks in shortstop Kate Heithoff (.385, 39 runs) and catcher Madison Schumacher (.346, 31 RBI).
There’s not a senior on the roster but plenty of veteran presence as nearly every HCHS junior and sophomore will be playing their third or fourth year of varsity ball.
Harlan Community Softball Profile
28-8 Overall, 18-2 Hawkeye Ten Conf. (1st Place); 4A Regional Semifinalist.
Postseason Run: def. Perry 3-2; lost to Boone 12-0 (4 innings).
All-State Honors: Morgan Schaben (IGCA First Team - Class 4A).
Schaben was also named First Team All-District (4A West).
All-Hawkeye Ten Conference Honors: Morgan Schaben, sr. (Unanimous First Team); Madison Schumacher, so. (First Team); Kate Heithoff, fr. (First Team); Tianna Kasperbauer, fr. (Second Team); Julia Schechinger, so. (Second Team); Miranda Goetz, so. (Honorable Mention).
Team Roster (Grades 8-12)
Juniors: Emily Brouse (P/IF)*, Miranda Goetz (OF)*, Kennedy Kjergaard (OF)*, Julia Schechinger (OF/C)*, Madison Schumacher (C/DP)*.
Sophomores: Jordan Heese (IF)*, Kate Heithoff (IF)*, Tianna Kasperbauer (P/IF)*.
Freshmen: Jenna Gessert (P), Ellie Ineson (IF), Madison Kjergaard (IF)*, Aurora Miller (IF/C)*, Ella Plagman (IF/OF), Abby Schechinger (IF), Tela Schwery (OF), Cameron Springman (OF).
8th Grader: Dana Schaben (OF).
* denotes returning letter winners.
Returning Varsity Stat Leaders
Batting Average: Kate Heithoff .385, Madison Schumacher .346, Aurora Miller .317, Julia Schechinger .315, Tianna Kasperbauer .295, Miranda Goetz .294, Jordan Heese .272, Emily Brouse .250.
Total Hits: K. Heithoff 40, M. Schumacher 37, J. Schechinger 34, A. Miller 26, T. Kasperbauer 26, M. Goetz 25, J. Heese 25.
Runs Scored: K. Heithoff 39 (led team), A. Miller 28, J. Schechinger 23, J. Heese 20, Madison Kjergaard 19, M. Goetz 18, T. Kasperbauer 17.
Runs-Batted-In: J. Schechinger 32, M. Schumacher 31, K. Heithoff 19, T. Kasperbauer 18, M. Goetz 17, J. Heese 15, E. Brouse 15, A. Miller 12.
Doubles: K. Heithoff 13, M. Schumacher 11, J. Schechinger 6.
Triples: M. Schumacher 1, J. Heese 1.
Home Runs: M. Schumacher 5, J. Schechinger 4, E. Brouse 3.
Walks: K. Heithoff 15, J. Heese 15, M. Goetz 11, A. Miller 9, T. Kasperbauer 9.
Stolen Bases: A. Miller 12, K. Heithoff 7, J. Heese 6, M. Kjergaard 6.
On-Base Percentage: K. Heithoff .484, M. Schumacher .412, A. Miller .385, J. Heese .376, M. Goetz .371, T. Kasperbauer .357, J. Schechinger .330.
Pitching W-L Record: T. Kasperbauer 6-1.
Saves: E. Brouse 2, T. Kasperbauer 1.
Innings Pitched: T. Kasperbauer 54.7, E. Brouse 4.0.
Earned Run Average: E. Brouse 0.00, T. Kasperbauer 3.20.
WHIP: E. Brouse 0.25, T. Kasperbauer 1.24.
Strikeouts: T. Kasperbauer 80, E. Brouse 9.
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