Softball: Ceynowa powers Warriors to 10-0 win
The Brainerd Warriors hosted the Alexandria Cardinals Tuesday, April 18.
BRAINERD — Maren Ceynowa is poised to have a breakout season.
The junior second baseman for the Brainerd Warriors is batting No. 3 in a potent lineup this year. In front of her is three-year varsity starter Josie Kappes at the leadoff followed by second-year starting shortstop and pitcher Mya Tautges.
Ceynowa, no stranger to varsity action herself, powered the Warriors to a 10-0 Central Lakes Conference victory over the Alexandria Cardinals Tuesday, April 18, at Adamson Field.
The second-year starter finished 2-3 with a double, home run, two runs and four RBIs. It was her third-inning home run that broke a scoreless tie and gave Brainerd a 3-0 edge.
“I was just looking for a pitch that I wanted,” Ceynowa said. “I wasn’t swinging for it. I wasn’t trying for a home run. The crack of the bat felt so good I barreled it up real nice and when I saw it go over the fence I was like ‘Yes.’ It finally happened. It really got everyone going and that made me just so happy.”
Kappes, who finished 3-4 with three runs and two RBIs, opened the inning with a single followed by a Mya Tautges single. Ceynowa stepped into the batter’s box and smashed the second pitch she saw over the right-centerfield fence.
“I had a sense it was out because I barreled it up so well,” Ceynowa said. “I was just hoping to get on base. I was hoping it wasn’t going to get caught. It always gets me going when something good happens. I love to encourage everyone else and get everyone going.”
Ella Chaussee opened the fourth inning with a double. That was followed by a Jozie Tautges walk, a Kappes single, a Mya Tautges single and a Ceynowa walk for a 6-0 lead.
Elsa Borchirt singled to score Mya Tautges and Ceynowa for an 8-0 lead after four innings.
“Maren works really hard,” Warriors head coach Shane Jordan said. “She works hard in the offseason. She lifts weights. She works on her game softball-wise all year long. It’s good to see her get rewarded for that, but she has a great swing. She’s got a great glove. She has a great arm. She’s just a really good softball player and a good student at Brainerd High School.”
Making her varsity pitching debut, sophomore Jozie Tautges struck out seven over five innings. She scattered three hits and didn’t walk a batter for the shutout victory.
“That was great to have a confidence booster to throw well,” Jordan said. “I was proud of her. She didn’t walk anybody so that was great. She threw strikes and challenged hitters and hit her spots. What a great confidence booster for a sophomore coming into the rest of the year. And we need her.”
Alexandria threatened in the top of the fifth. A leadoff single was quickly erased as backup catcher Autumn Larson came in and denied an attempted steal. After a strikeout, the Cardinals got another single followed by an error to put runners on the corners.
Tautges then struck out the next batter on three pitches. Of her 63 pitches, 47 went for strikes.
“Jozie looked amazing,” Ceynowa said. “I’m so proud of her for doing so well. She did so well under all that pressure. She kept us going and all of our defense was behind her doing well and getting all of those outs for her. I’m just super proud.”
Larson wasn’t the only heady backup player Tuesday. Jazz McNaughton opened the fifth with a hit-by-pitch. Emily Ehlert then popped up between third base and home plate. After Alexandria’s third baseman and catcher collided, McNaughton tagged up and reached second. An errant throw allowed McNaughton to reach third base.
“We have a lot of kids on this team that can play really good softball,” Jordan said. “It’s hard as a coach that I can only put nine out there. I have 14, 16, 20 kids that can play and do a good job and they prove it when they get their chance. Autumn comes in and throws a kid out at second. It was a dart.
“Jazz gets on base by getting hit by a pitch, which we talk about all the time. It’s the easiest way to get on base. She gets a Dairy Queen card for that and then savvy baserunning. She tagged up on an infield pop-up. They weren’t paying attention so she took advantage.”
A Kappes chip shot over first base scored McNaughton and set up Ceynowa’s walk-off double.
With the count one-and-one, Ceynowa blasted a ball to the left field fence to score Kappes and end the game.
“I’m seeing the ball very very well,” Ceynowa said. “I’ve been working so hard in practice just keeping my eye on the ball and getting my hands threw and everything like that. I’m really focusing on the small things and not just going for the homers and all that. I’m just focusing on the little things and it just happens.”
Alexandria 0 3 2
Brainerd 10 10 1
WP: Jozie Tautges. LP: Tatum Kelson. 2B: Brd-Maren Ceynowa, Ella Chaussee. HR: Brd-Ceynowa.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 218-855-5856 or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop .
Warriors 10, Alexandria 0
Key: Maren Ceynowa drove in four runs and Jozie Tautges struck out seven for a shutout victory
Conference: Brd 1-0, Alex 2-1.
Overall: Brd 2-0, Alex 2-1.
Next: Brainerd at Rocori 5 p.m. Thursday, April 20.