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Prep softball: Rocori twice catches Cards

Tribune photo by Rand Middleton Willmar senior Heather Horning aims and fires in the seventh inning of Game 1 against Rocori at the Thursday in Willmar.

WILLMAR — The Willmar Cardinals had an edge on Rocori each game but both times the visiting Spartans struck late to snatch at double victory at the high school fastpitch field on Thursday 2-1 and 9-7.

Rocori, which is in second place in the Central Lakes Conference, improved to 11-3 in league and overall.

The Cardinals (5-7, 6-10) head to Brainerd for another twin bill today to conclude the schedule. Section seeding is Sunday.

Game One

Rocori 2, Willmar 1

Megan Rudnick’s solo shot over the left-field fence with two outs in the bottom of the sixth put Willmar in front 1-0.

The Spartans answered with 2 runs, both unearned, in the top seventh on one hit and two  two infield errors.

Kassidy Klaphake got the win on a 7-hitter.

Heather Horning allowed just four hits, walked two and fanned four.

Willmar played well in the field through six innings; both miscues in the seventh were tough plays.

Rocori   000 000 2 — 2 4 0

Willmar                000 001 0 — 1 7 3 

HITTING – Rocori: Theresa Wenner  1-for-3, Jocelyn Metz 1-for-3, 2b; Kassidy Klaphake 1-for-3, Kaitlin Schmitz 1-for-3  … Willmar: Megan Rudnick 2-for-3, 2b, solo HR, rbi; Ally Roehl 1-for-4, Leah Ruter 1-for-3, Heather Horning 2-for-3, 2b; McKenzie Hastad 1-for-3-.

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) – Rocori: Kassidy Klaphake (W) 7-7-1-1-3-7 … Willmar: Heather Horning (L) 7-4-2-0-2-4

Game Two

Rocori 9, Willmar 7

Trailing 5-2 through two innings, the Cardinals overtook the Spartans on 2-run homers by Horning and Rudnick and a two-run double by Kassy Linbo.

But the Spartans, now trailing 7-5 in the lower half of the sixth, scored four times on four hits, a Willmar error and a hit batter.

Horning started but was touched for 6 hits and 5 runs over three frames. Leah Ruter took over pitching two shutout innings before the Rocori eruption.

Willmar was  outhit 14-9.

Willmar                022 021 0 — 7   9  2 

Rocori   230 004 x —9  14  2 

HITTING – Willmar: Roehl 1-for-3, 2 runs; Horning 2-for-4, 2-run HR; Sarah Stadem 1-for-4, 2 runs; Megan Rudnick 2-for-3, 2-run HR; Kassy Linbo 1-for-1, 2b, 2 rbi; Leah Ramon 2-for-4 … Rocori: Jill Rothstein 3-for-4, Katie Heinen 3-for-4

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) – Willmar: Horning 3-6-5-5-0-2, Leah Ruter (L) 3-8-4-3-0-4 … Rocori: Jocelyn  Metz (W) 2-2-1-1-3-3_

Rand Middleton
Tribune photographer/videographer. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime news/sports beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 
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