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Prep Softball: KMS heading back to state tournament

MARSHALL — Erin Haglund threw a two-hit shutout and Courtney Olson slugged a solo home run as the fourth-ranked Fighting Saints took another step in their march to return to the state tournament.

Behind an eight-hit offense, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg brought down Edgerton/Southwest Minnesota Christian 2-0 on Thursday in the Section 3A championship game at the softball fields in west Marshall.

The Saints will open play in their third straight state tournament on Thursday. They finished fifth last season and third in 2011.

“It gets harder every time,” said KMS head coach Eileen Suter. “There’s more pressure because we’ve got that target on our backs. But this is a good group and they’re determined.”

Haglund didn’t walk a batter and struck out eight.

“The game was awesome,” Haglund said. “I was anxious all day and just wanted to get out on the field. We played well all-around. We played good defense and got hits when we needed to.”

Seven Saints had hits, two by Olson.

Losing pitcher Tiana Top walked two and fanned three but enjoyed meager support from the offense.

KMS 3, Edgerton SMC 0

E/SMC 000 000 0 — 0 2 0

KMS 001 110 x — 2 8 1

HITTING – Edgerton/SMC: Jessi Menning 1-3, Tanner Gunnick 1-3 … KMS: Ali Krieger 1-3, Sam Dunn 1-2, 2b; Erin Haglund 1-3 rbi, Courtney Olson 2-3 hr rbi, Kalli Forsell 1-3 Sadie Sulier 1-3, Shelly Syverson 1-2 r, Sam Gjerde 0-0, run

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) – Edgerton/SMC: LP-Tiana Top 6-8-3-3-2-3 … KMS: WP-Erin Haglund 7-2-0-0-0-8