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Prep Softball: Willmar ousted in 2AAA

NORTH MANKATO -- Heather Horning took a no-hitter into the sixth inning for Willmar, but three errors hindered the Cardinals' chances of winning their playoff opener as Eden Prairie edged Willmar 5-4 in the Section 2AAA tournament Thursday at Caswell Park.

While Horning was pitching strong, her teammates spotted the sophomore a 4-2 lead through five innings.

Casey Marcus put No. 10-seeded Willmar (9-11) up by two when her bases-loaded double plated two runs to break a 2-2 tie. Horning opened the scoring by driving in Sarah Roehl with a double in the first. Lindsey Atchison then supplied the Cardinals with another RBI double in the second.

No. 7 Eden Prairie (11-9) took its starting pitcher out with two outs in the third and reliever Claire Willeck proceeded to shut out Willmar for the final four innings while giving up only two hits and striking out eight.

The Eagles tied the game at 4-4 in the sixth before Kalie Nichols hit a bloop single on a 2-2 count from Horning to bring in Willeck with the winning run with two outs in the seventh.

Horning finished with a four-hitter, giving up two hits in both the sixth and seventh innings. She also had five walksand struck out two in a complete-game performance. Only three runs off her were earned.

Claire Willeck earned the win in relief.

Eden Prairie 5, Willmar 4

Willmar 112 000 0 -- 4 8 3

Eden Prairie 020 002 1 -- 5 4 0

HITTING - Willmar: Casey Marcus 2-for-3, 2b, 2 rbi; Heather Horning 1-for-3, 2b, rbi; Laura Swartz 1-for-3; Haylee Hastad 1-for-4; Lindsey Atchison 1-for-3, 2b, rbi; Sara Kallhoff 1-for-4 ... Eden Prairie: Kalie Nichols 1-for-3, rbi; Eryn Yancy 1-for-2, 2-run HR, 2 rbi; Jenny Leestma 1-for-3; Claire Willeck 1-for-2, 3b, 2 runs

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- Willmar: Heather Horning (L) 62/3-4-5-3-5-2 ... Eden Prairie: Kim Syverson 22/3-6-4-4-2-1, Claire Willeck (W) 41/3-2-0-0-0-8