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Eden Prairie tumbles Willmar, 12-3

NORTH MANKATO -- The Willmar softball team will have to battle from the loser's bracket in Section 2AAA after a 12-3 loss to Eden Prairie in the first round Tuesday.

The Cardinals scored all three runs in the fourth inning, but it was the only real rally for Willmar (11-10).

Amanda Croonquist hit a two-run single and Katie Switzer's double drove in the final run.

Eden Prairie (10-12) made the most of its nine hits, while also taking advantage of six Willmar errors.

"They were a good hitting team and had excellent defense; that's where we fell apart," said Willmar coach Brent Pedersen. "Had we played a clean game, we would have been right there with them."

The Cardinals stayed close to Eden Prairie offensively with seven hits. Chelsey Wierschem led the way with two doubles and Brittney Hastad had one.

Hanna Pedersen took the loss, allowing nine hits. She struck out eight and walked two.

Kallie Nichols, the starting pitcher for Eden Prairie, and Shannon Lambert had two hits each. Nichols gave up all three Willmar runs. Cally

The Eagles advanced to play Mankato West in the winner's bracket Tuesday.

The Cardinals will play the loser of the Shakopee-Buffalo game at 5 p.m. Thursday in North Mankato.

Eden Prairie 12, Willmar 3

Willmar 000 300 0 -- 3 7 6

Eden Prairie 022 062 x -- 12 9 0

HITTING - Willmar: Haylee Hastad 1-for-4; Sara Kallhoff 1-for-4; Brittney Hastad 1-for-3, 2b; Chelsey Wierschem 2-for-3, 2 2b's; Amanda Croonquist 1-for-3, 2 rbi; Katie Switzer 1-for-2, 2b, rbi ... Eden Prairie: Kallie Nichols 2-for-4; Shannon Lambert 2-for-2

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- Willmar: Hanna Pederson (L) 6-9-12-6-2-8 ... Eden Prairie: Kallie Nichols (W) 3Xc-6-3-3-1-3; Cally Brisson 3Zc-1-0-0-1-5