Lea Brunssen finishes tough season on top

State softball: 3-run double is the big blow for Benton

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FORT DODGE — It wasn’t a sketchy gesture that Lea Brunssen was flashing during a postseason interview.

She can’t help it. She can’t bend it.

Brunssen provided the killer blow, a three-run double, in Benton Community’s 8-0 Class 3A championship rout of Davenport Assumption on Friday at the Rogers Sports Complex.

“If felt good, really good,” Brunssen said. “No better time to do that than in a championship game.”

The leadoff hitter last year, Brunssen broke her right middle finger in early April. Progress has been slow.

“It affected me a lot,” said the senior second baseman. “It has been easier to pick it back up on defense than at the plate.”

Brunssen missed two months, finally getting the OK to play about the time the season began.

“It was really hard to pick that back up,” she said. “It felt really weak. I tried different things, but it is what it is. But we’re still coming home with a championship.”

Brunssen hit .344 out of the leadoff slot last year, scoring 48 runs. She got moved to No. 9 position this summer, hitting .342.

“She did really well there,” Benton Coach Eric Stenberg said. “At the start of the season, she couldn’t grip the bat. Most people wouldn’t come back from that, but she did, and she played at a high level.”

Benton (43-2) scored all eight of its runs in the third inning, all with two outs. Brunssen came to the plate with the bases loaded and the Bobcats ahead 3-0.

She lifted a drive to the fence in left-center fence, clearing the bases. And that was the ballgame.

“It was great to see her get the job done,” Alyssa Wiebel said. “She has had some really good at-bats lately.”

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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