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Fergus Falls outlasts Willmar in softball opener

FERGUS FALLS -- Kayliegh Mavis, the No. 9 hitter in the Fergus Falls lineup, had not hit a ball out of the infield in her first three plate appearances against Willmar on Tuesday. But with one out and the bases loaded, Mavis delivered a two-run single and the Otters defeated the Cardinals 10-9 in a Central Lakes Conference opener.

Willmar (0-1, 0-1) led 4-3 until Fergus Falls plated five runs in the last of the fifth inning. Willmar then regained the lead with five runs in the top of the sixth inning.

With one out in the last of the seventh, Fergus Falls (1-0, 1-1) loaded the bases with three straight singles before Mavis stepped to the plate.

Alex Linbo went 3-for-4 for the Cardinals, including two doubles, and drove in four runs. Heather Horning was also 3-for-4 with two doubles. Sara Roehl was 2-for-4. Haylee Hastad, Sarah Kalhoff and Megan Rudie all drove in a run.

Horning, an All-Area pitcher last season, was touched for 15 hits in 6Zc innings to absorb the loss. She walked none and struck out three. Eight of the runs off her were earned.

The Otters' Aimee Magnuson went the distance, scattering nine hits for the win. She walked three and struck out nine. Deveney Smith was 3-for-4 for the Otters.

Willmar hosts Rocori on Thursday in another CLC game.

Fergus Falls 10, Willmar 9

Willmar 000 225 0 -- 9 12 3

Fergus Falls 011 051 2 --10 15 0

HITTING - Willmar: Alex Linbo 3-for-4, 2 2b's, 4 rbi; Heather Horning 3-for-4, 2 2b's; Sara Roehl 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2b; Haylee Hastad 1-for-3, rbi; Sarah Kalhoff 1-for-4, 2b, rbi; Addy Nelsen 1-for-3; Megan Rudie 1-for-4, 2b, rbi ... Fergus Falls: Deveney Smith 3-for-4, 3 runs; Gabbie Stock 2-for-4, 2 rbi

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- Willmar: Heather Horning (L) 6Zc-15-10-8-0-3 ... Fergus Falls: Aimee Magnuson (W) 7-12-9-9-3-9