By PATRICK SLACK
Third-seeded Little Falls shut out No. 6 Pierz 8-0 and No. 4 Holdingford defeated No. 5 St. Cloud Cathedral 13-3 in Friday’s opening round of the Sub-Section 6AA East playoffs.
Little Falls 8, Pierz 0
Little Falls was ready for the start of the postseason, scoring six runs in the first two innings to build an advantage Pierz could not recover from en route to an 8-0 victory.
After getting on the board with two runs in the first, junior Jamie Jenks broke the game open with a grand slam in the second.
The Flyers tacked on a run in the fourth on a hit by senior Alayna Kabanuk and in the sixth on a base hit by senior Holly Kampa.
Jenks finished 2-for-2 with a pair of walks, scoring four times and driving in five.
Kabanuk went 4-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs.
Senior Chloe Nelson shut out the Pioneers on five hits, striking out five.
Junior Brook Brausen went 2-for-3 for Pierz, with juniors Sara Schlegel and Anna Welle and sophomore Lynn Funk also collecting hits.
It was the second meeting of the year between the two squads, with Pierz winning 6-5 in the opening week of the season.
“We had the lead in that game but couldn’t finish,” Little Falls head coach Ron Hinnenkamp said. “We talked about having to get off to a good start against a good team, then staying focused and finishing. Two in the first inning and four in the second got us off to that good start.”
Pierz finished the season with a record of 9-11.
Little Falls advances to Tuesday’s sub-section semifinals, where it will host No. 7 Paynesville Area at 4:30 p.m. Paynesville Area knocked off second-seeded Milaca 6-3.
Holdingford 13, St. Cloud Cathedral 3
Holdingford experienced similar success in its playoff opener, routing St. Cloud Cathedral 13-3 in five innings.
The game was played evenly through the middle of the fourth, before the Huskers broke a 2-2 tie with four in the fourth and seven in the fifth to pull away from the Crusaders.
Holdingford drilled 18 hits in the game and junior Alyssa Ohman earned the win on the mound.
Holdingford travels to top-seeded Albany, Tuesday, to take on the defending section champion.
The Huskers fell 5-4 against the Huskies in the opening week of the season.
Pierz 0 5 3
Flyers 8 10 2
Pierz—Brook Brausen: 2-3; Sara Schlegel: 1-2; Anna Welle: 1-3; Lynn Funk: 1-3.
Little Falls—Alayna Kabanuk: 4-4, 2-2B, 2-R; Jamie Jenks: 2-2, 2B, HR, 5-RBI, 4-R, 2-BB; Holly Kampa: 2-4, RBI; Brichelle Brummer: 1-3, R; Emily Suska: 1-1; WP-Chloe Nelson: 6-IP, 0-R, 5-H, 0-BB, 5-K.