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Prep softball: Willmar tops Alexandria

ALEXANDRIA — The Willmar softball team won its season-opener, taking a lead and holding off an Alexandria threat in the fifth to win 6-4 on Thursday.

The Cardinals play another Central Lakes Conference game on Tuesday, playing host to Brainerd at 5 p.m. at the Willmar High School field.

On Thursday, Willmar scored four runs in its first at bats of the season and took a 5-1 lead into the fifth.

But Alexandria responded with three runs to cut its deficit to one before the Cardinals could work out of the jam.

Reliever Lexi Kopacek held off Alexandria from that point and the Cardinals tacked on an insurance run in the seventh.

“Super game,” said Willmar head coach Shannon Cayler. “It was a team effort, obviously. It was good play, all-around.”

Megan Rudnick was 2-for-3 and drove in a run for Willmar and Leah Ruter drove in two runs and scored a run.

Jordan Martins singled in a run and Jamie Reyes had a hit and scored twice.

Ruter started and got the win, despite tiring in the fifth. She allowed four runs and struck out three. Kopacek worked 2.2 innings, allowing two hits and striking out four.

Willmar 6, Alexandria 4

Willmar.....................400 100 1 — 6 7 0 

Alexandria................010 030 0 — 4 9 5 

HITTING – Willmar: Allie Roehl 1-4 r sb, Jamie Reyes 1-4 r-2 sb, McKenzie Hastad 1-2 r bb-2, Leah Ruter 0-4 rbi-2 r, Jordan Martins 1-4 rbi r, Megan Rudnick 2-3 rbi sb-2, Hannah Schirm 1-2 bb … Alexandria: Taylor Ellingson 2-4 rbi r, Sarah Bruzek 2-3 r, Carly Dropik 3-4 3b-2 rbi-2

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Willmar: Ruter (W) 4.2-7-4-4-2-3, Lexi Kopacek 2.1-2-0-0-0-4 … Alexandria: Ellingson (L)