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Softball: Warriors power past Lumberjacks

Warriors 10, Bemidji 0 The key: Madi Hill pitched a 1-hitter and Hannah Munsch and Kylie Lange hit home runs Overall: Brd 14-6 Next: Brainerd at No. 2 Alexandria in Section 8-3A tournament Monday time TBA Hannah Munsch's bat packed a punch. The B...

Warriors 10,

Bemidji 0

The key: Madi Hill pitched a 1-hitter and Hannah Munsch and Kylie Lange hit home runs

Overall: Brd 14-6

Next: Brainerd at No. 2 Alexandria in Section 8-3A tournament Monday time TBA

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Hannah Munsch's bat packed a punch.

The Brainerd left fielder was ripping the ball in Wednesday's 10-0, 5-inning victory over the 11th-seeded Bemidji Lumberjacks in the Section 8-3A tournament at Adamson Field. She crunched a solo home run to left to lead off the fourth and drilled a run-scoring double in the fifth that bounced twice on its way to the fence.

"It was a perfect pitch. I just got the hang of it," Munsch said of her first varsity home run.

"I had a lot of adrenaline from the first hit," the senior said of her double. "I guess I got up there and did the same thing."

She added an RBI groundout in a 3-run first inning to finish with three RBIs on the day. Sophomore center fielder Kylie Lange joined in the power surge as she socked a solo home run to lead off Brainerd's 4-run fifth.

The home runs were only the second and third hit by the Warriors on their home field this season.

"This is big field, the biggest field we play on," Warriors coach Shane Jordan said. "It's 225 (feet) to left, 235 in the alleys and center. It's a really big field."

Throw in right-hander Madi Hill's 1-hit shutout and the third-seeded Warriors are on their way to the next round Monday at No. 2 Alexandria with game time TBA. Alexandria edged Sauk Rapids 6-5 in a first-round game Wednesday.

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Brainerd, which has won seven of its last eight, collected just seven hits Wednesday but most of them were clutch. In addition to the blasts by Munsch and Lange, Hill rapped an RBI single in a 3-run first, Brooke Mimmack clubbed a run-scoring single in a 3-run fourth and Maddy Stall drilled an RBI single in the fifth moments before the 10th run scored on a throwing error to the plate.

'We've been working on hitting a ton," Jordan said. "Obviously your arms start getting sore after throwing for too long so we've just been working in the cages like crazy and the girls have been doing everything we've asked them to do. Actually (assistant) coach Doc Johnson said probably about the third inning 'We're just trying to get base hits. Let's just try to hit it really far.' We relayed that to the kids and they did that. They hit the ball really hard."

Hill walked just one, struck out five and allowed just three baserunners. She retired the first 11 Lumberjacks before issuing a walk which was followed by an error.

Bemidji's Jaden Hunsberger managed her team's only hit, an infield dribbler between first and second base.

"I keep saying the same thing every time Madi pitches. She's been phenomenal all year," Jordan said. "She's pitching her best right now. I have a ton of good things I could say about her. She's just pitching tremendous right now."

In Wednesday's first game, Bemidji stunned No. 6 Detroit Lakes 5-4. The Warriors had shellacked the Lumberjacks 11-0 in the regular season.

"I told the girls it's just another game," Munsch said about facing a lower-seeded team. "If we play the way we practice, we'll be just fine."

Bemidji 000 00 - 0 1 6

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Brainerd 300 34 - 10 7 1

Bemidji: Heather Olson and Madi Schultz.

Brainerd: Madi Hill and Elaina Christiansen.

WP: Hill.

LP: Olson.

2B: Brd-Hannah Munsch

HR: Brd-Munsch, Kylie Lange

SB: Brd-Lexi Roby, Christiansen 2, Kaye Smude; Bem-Grace Naig

RBIs: Brd-Roby, Lange, Hill, Munsch 3, Maddy Hill, Brooke Mimmack

LOB: Brd 3, Bem 3

MIKE BIALKA may be reached at mike.bialka@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5861. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bertsballpark .

Brainerd's Hannah Munsch hits a solo home run to lead off the fourth inning Wednesday against Bemidji during the first round of the Section 8-3A tournament. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery)
Brainerd's Hannah Munsch hits a solo home run to lead off the fourth inning Wednesday against Bemidji during the first round of the Section 8-3A tournament. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery)

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