Softball: Warriors complete 20-0 season with 1-run win over Forest Lake
Brainerd hosts Forest Lake May 20
BRAINERD — They’re perfect.
The Brainerd Warriors softball team completed an undefeated regular season with a 2-1 win over the Forest Lake Rangers in a non-conference game Friday, May 20, at Adamson Field.
Olivia Tautges pitched a complete game in the circle and allowed six hits and struck out 11 over seven innings. She also produced the only runs of the game for the Warriors with her two-run home run in the fourth inning.
“I’m glad she’s on our team,” Warriors head coach Shane Jordan said. “I’m glad all our kids on our team, but (Tautges) is just a different kid and different animal out there.”
The home run was Tautges’ 10th of the season, which is the Brainerd record for most home runs in a season. She is now three behind the all-time record for home runs in a career.
The Rangers threatened in the seventh trailing by a run. A leadoff single by Baily Thomas followed by a sacrifice bunt put a runner on second with one out.
Then a sharp grounder to the Brainerd shortstop was mishandled. Thomas, who was on second, made a late break to third and the Warriors were able to tag her out at third just in time for the second out.
Tautges then struck out Maddie Muellner to end the game and secure the Warriors their 20th win.
“Although it was gut-check time, that is why we scheduled Forest Lake,” Jordan said. “They are a really good program and we think we are a very good softball team and the credit goes to the girls for performing when it mattered. And it all comes from the hard work done in open gyms in the summer.”
It was a pitching duel as both teams combined for one hit through three and a half innings.
In the bottom of fourth, Josie Kappes reached on a single and scored on Tautges’ home run.
Emma Tautges then reached with a single, which accounted for all three of the Warrior hits, and was left stranded.
Forest Lake chipped away in the top of sixth. A one-out single followed by a two-out single put runners on first and second.
An RBI single by Grace Frechette, who doubled in the first, made it 2-1 and she advanced to second on the throw to put runners on second and third.
Hannah Tong struck out to end the threat and keep the Warriors ahead. After the Tong strikeout, as the Forest Lake head coach walked to the dugout, the home plate umpire ejected him.
Forest Lake’s starter Avery Muellner was dominant and allowed just three hits over six innings. She sent the Warriors down in order in four of the six innings.
The Warriors will most likely be the top seed in the Section 8-4A playoffs, which start Tuesday, May 24.
“We got to refocus and nobody is going to give us anything,” Jordan said. “We haven’t earned anything yet, so we have to go into the playoffs, refocus and be ready to perform.”
Forest Lake 1 6 0
Brainerd 2 3 0
WP: Olivia Tautges. LP: Avery Muellner. 2B: FL-Grace Frechette. HR: Brd-Olivia Tautges.
Warriors 2, Forest Lake 1
Key: Olivia Tautges blasts a 2-run home run and pitches a complete game to get the Warriors an undefeated regular season.
Overall: Brd 20-0.
Next: Brainerd in Section 8-4A playoffs TBA Tuesday, May 24.
CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/the_rad34.