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HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL: Jefferson hands Warriors first loss

RICHFIELD — Top-ranked Bloomington Jefferson won the battle of Class 3A-ranked teams as it defeated the No. 5 Brainerd Warriors 3-0 in the first game of the Richfield tournament Saturday.

The loss was Brainerd’s first of the season after opening with five wins.

Lauren Falkanger pitched a 2-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts for Jefferson and hit a 2-run homer in the first inning. Bailey O’Hotto doubled and Nikki Anderson singled for the Warriors’ only hits.

Anderson also suffered her first loss of the season despite allowing just five hits, and one walk. She hit two batters and struck out five.

In its second game, Brainerd regrouped to beat Richfield 10-4 as Nikki DeChaine was 3-4 and O’Hotto and Sarah Wennerstrand were both 2-4.

Anderson pitched the first four innings and got the win. She struck out six and allowed no hits.

Chelsie Manton worked the final three innings, allowing three hits and four runs, with two strikeouts and two walks.

Brainerd’s third game was rained out.

“It would have been a good tournament for us to complete,” Warriors assistant coach Dan Bzdok said. “Bloomington was a game we needed to give us a benchmark. I thought our kids played very well against them. We adjusted to different pitcher, a hard-throwing pitcher. We struck out a lot, but we also made contact. We had some good cuts.”

Game One

Bloomington Jefferson 3 5 1

Brainerd 0 2 2

WP: Lauren Falkanger. LP: Nikki Anderson.

Game Two

Brainerd 10 10 1

Richfield 4 3 4

WP: Nikki Anderson. Overall: B 6-1. Next: Brainerd at Willmar 4 p.m. Tuesday (2).

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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