For the past three years, the Sioux City Heelan girls track team has been gradually building into a deep and formidable program. In every season since coach Gina Cougill took over, the Crusaders have seen increases in both numbers and commitment to the sport, and it’s starting to bear fruit.

Perhaps Harlan Community coach Steve Daeges was just trying to cheer up a disappointed coach. Or maybe he’s clairvoyant. After Harlan pounded Sioux City Heelan 12-0 in five innings on May 27, Heelan coach Andy Osborne recalled their postgame conversation.

Creston’s Taylor Briley got her team off to a promising start Wednesday with a first-inning solo home run. But the Panthers would get only one more hit the rest of the way as Fairfield took the Class 4-A first-round game.

The Lynx dropped their fourth straight game and ninth in their last 10 following Thursday’s 10-2 setback against Sioux City Heelan. It was the first softball game played at the new Ann Fatovich Field, which features all FieldTurf.

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