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Prep softball: KMS powers past Willmar

Tribune photo by Tom Larson KMS leadoff hitter Allison Krieger watches her first varsity home run sail over the left-center field fence during the fourth inning of the Saints’ non-conference game against Willmar on Monday in Murdock. Krieger’s two-run blast erased a Willmar lead and put the Saints ahead by two runs.

MURDOCK — Heather Horning and Erin Haglund probably didn’t see this coming.

Two of the top area pitchers saw their earned-run averages take a hit as the Willmar and Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg offenses produced base runners and runs batted in with assembly line efficiency.

By the time the hot bats simmered, the Class A Saints had a 14-7 win over the Class AAA Cardinals.

“I wasn’t expecting a high-scoring game,” said KMS head coach Eileen Suter, whose team improve to 13-0. “Both teams had good pitchers out there but the bats really got going.”

The Cardinals played small ball effectively while the Saints countered with power, despite lacking the potent bat of Sam Dunn, who sat out with an injured neck.

KMS pounded out 14 hits, nine of which went for extra bases. The Saint had five doubles, a triple and three home runs.

Saints sophomore Alison Krieger hit her first varsity home run, a two-run shot in the fourth that put KMS ahead 5-3.

Haglund hit a solo homer in the Saints’ six-run fifth inning and Courtney Olson jacked one in a three-run sixth.

“We were kind of nervous with Sam (Dunn) being out because she’s a big stick for us,” Olson said. “But Krieger’s home run really got us going. I think we got in (Horning’s) head a little bit.”

“We knew this would be a tough matchup,” said Krieger, who was 2-for-3 and drove in three runs. “It’s really good competition for us heading into the rest of the season, to see a fast pitcher like that.”

Willmar put four runners on via bunt. Leah Ramon reached base four times, three on bunt singles, and she scored three runs.

The Cardinals rapped out 13 hits but couldn’t get runs home in bunches except for the sixth inning. Head coach Shannon Caylor did like the way her team bounced back once the KMS runs started piling up.

“Our offense stayed alive,” Caylor said. “We’ve had a tendency to get stuck in a rut, so it’s good that they kept at it and didn’t get down. It was good to see that.”

The Saints play a rescheduled doubleheader against MACCRAY on Thursday in Raymond.

The Cardinals embark on a brutal schedule, with six games in four days, including four on the road.

They play two at Sauk Rapids today at 4 p.m., they get a day off before playing two against Rocori at home on Thursday, then travel to play two in Brainerd on Friday.

KMS 14, Willmar 7

Willmar                001 204 0 —   7 13 3 

KMS      011 363 x — 14 14 3 

HITTING – Willmar: Allison Roehl 2-3 rbi, Leah Ruter 2-5 rbi-2, Heather Horning 1-4 rbi, Sarah Stadem 2-4, Megan Rudnick 1-4 2b rbi-2, McKenzie Hastad 1-4, Jordan Martins 1-3 rbi, Leah Ramon 3-3 r-3 … KMS: Allison Krieger 2-3 hr rbi-3, Sadie Sulier 2-4 2b rbi-2, Erin Haglund 2-4 hr rbi-2, Courtney Olson 2-3 hr 2b rbi, Kalli Forsell 1-4 2b, Haylie Helms 2-3, Samantha Gjerde 1-2 2b rbi-2, Michelle Severson 1-4 3b rbi-3, Lyndsey Jorgenson 1-4 2b

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) – Willmar: LP-Horning 6-14-14-9-2-9 … KMS: WP-Erin Haglund 7-12-7-5-2-9

Tom Larson

Tom Larson is the sports editor of the West Central Tribune.

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