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Softball: Alexandria takes down Detroit Lakes in short order in Section 8 3-A playoff opener

Alexandria beats the sixth-seeded Detroit Lakes Lakers 21-4 in a run rule in 3.5 innings

10-Sidney Borgmann-DSC_8174.JPG
Sidney Borgmann was the starting pitcher for Detroit Lakes in its 21-4 in the opening round of the Section 8AAA playoffs against Alexandria on May 24, 2022.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press
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ALEXANDRIA - The Alexandria softball team didn’t mess around from the start in its win over the Detroit Lakes Lakers on Tuesday. Alexandria needed just three innings to put 21 runs and won its Section 8AAA playoff opener by 21-4 run rule in 3.5 innings.

The Cardinals' offense came in bunches with eight runs in the first, four in the second and nine in the third.

“It's been a battle all season,” Alexandria head coach Britt Bruzek said. “I always said it's not about how we start. It's how we end and finding the little victories along the way.”

Alexandria finished the regular season with a 6-14 record and was coming off of a loss to Sartell-St. Stephen, 21-3, in game two of a doubleheader on May 18 (Sartell-St. Stephen won game one 12-11).

But for the Cardinals, the postseason offers them a new beginning. A beginning in which they had a home playoff game against the sixth-seeded Lakers (5-14) by virtue of being the third-highest rated team in the section in the QRF Rankings on Minnesota-scores.net.

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Alexandria’s 21 run outing is the most that the program has scored in a game since May 5, 2017, in a 21-6 win in game one of a doubleheader against Sartell-St. Stephen.

The Cardinals had 15 hits in the game and also took advantage of three errors and six walks.

“They're taking everything that they learned and learning to pass the bat,” Bruzek said. “It doesn't have to be pretty. It just has to be put in play; pass the bat and trust that. We were doing our jobs and we practiced that in the last few days. Get on, move the runner, score the runner and that's just something that they honed in on.”

Eight different Cardinals had a hit on the night.

“I could go top to bottom,” Bruzek said about what players stood out on Tuesday. “ Emma Walters had huge, huge at-bats. She had some big hits on the right side that scored runs.”

Walters had three hits, including a two-RBI double in the bottom of the second inning and another RBI hit to right field in the third inning of the game as well.

“I just focused myself on the end of the bat to get it there,” Walters said about her opposite-field hits.

Bruzek was also impressed with the at-bats of sophomore Zoey Spear, who had played most of the year on JV.

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“Coming off my bench, Zoey Spear came in with bases loaded, one out (in the third inning). That’s a pressure situation, no matter if we're up or down,” Bruzek said. “She just did her job and put the ball in play and scored runs on that.”

Bruzek also praised sophomore Chloe Loch’s batting. Loch tied with senior Brookelyn Stender with a game-high three hits.

“I think at the end of the day, anyone is capable of doing it. I'm proud of them,” Bruzek said.

Detroit Lakes began the game with the lead.

Junior Questis Weidenbach put the Lakers on the board with an RBI single and the Lakers then had two runners in scoring position after just the first three at-bats of the game.

“They're a scrappy team, their coaches are aggressive on the bases and they put the ball in play,” Bruzek said about Detroit Lakes. “Hats off to Detroit Lakes, they have big hitters, but we just kept them at bay.”

At that point in the game, Alexandria senior Jordan O’Kane came in to relieve senior Madi Heid. O’Kane struck out four batters, allowed three hits and three runs in three and a half innings she pitched.

O’Kane halted the Lakers' momentum by getting three straight outs and she got the Cardinals going offensively in the bottom of the first with a lead-off triple.

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Senior Emma Coley had two of the Lakers' five hits. Sidney Borgmann pitched the first 2.1 innings for the Lakers and recorded one strikeout.

Detroit Lakes will now head to the elimination bracket while Alexandria faces No. 2 seed Little Falls (9-10, 3-1 Section 8AAA) on the road on Thursday at 4 p.m. The Lakers will play the loser of top-seeded Rocori and fourth-seeded Willmar.

Detroit Lakes - 1 3 0 0 - 4 5 3

Alexandria - 8 4 9 X - 21 15 0

Sam Stuve covers a variety of sports in the Douglas County area. He also is assigned to do some news stories as well.
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