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Softball: Warriors cruise into section semis with 12-0 win

Brainerd hosted St. Cloud Crush in Section 8-4A playoffs.

girls playing softball
Brainerd Warriors Josie Kappes and Meghan Smith celebrate a run against the St. Cloud Crush Tuesday, May 24, 2022, at Adamson Field.
Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch
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BRAINERD — Maren Ceynowa is really happy.

If you can’t tell by her body language just ask her and she’ll tell you. There’s no place she would rather be than playing softball as a Brainerd Warrior right now.

“It’s great,” Ceynowa said. “I love that everyone has their own role on the team. Everyone contributes and cheers and everyone gets hits and makes plays. It’s just amazing to see that everyone works so well together.”

The top-seeded and unbeaten Warriors played well together Tuesday, May 24, as they shut out the No. 9 seeded St. Cloud Crush 12-0 in the Section 8-4A Quarterfinals at Adamson Field.

Seven different Warriors got a hit. Eleven different Warriors scored a run and Olivia Tautges was, well, Olivia Tautges.

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The senior pitcher struck out six over five innings of work. She walked one to lose her perfect game bid, but held the Crush hitless for the win. Tautges threw 59 total pitches. -- 39 for strikes.

“It’s amazing watching her,” Ceynowa said. “She’s so good for her age, being a senior and throwing so fast. I’m impressed and proud of her for going to St. Ben’s (next year). I just love being on the team with her.”

Maren Ceynowa
Maren Ceynowa
Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

Tautges was also 2-3 with a double, home run and two RBIs. It was her 11th home run of the season.

“We did a lot of good things and all year we’ve talked about the growth of our team,” Warriors head coach Shane Jordan said. “We talked about playing for each other. We don’t really talk about outcomes. Even though we’ve had 21 successful outcomes, the scoreboard has never really been something we’ve talked about. Now outcomes matter.

“We’ve built the little things that mean a lot and we are prepared to have positive outcomes.”

Tuesday’s outcome became evident early. Josie Kappes led off the bottom of the first inning with a walk and Emma Tautges drove her home with a double. Meghan Smith then singled and Elsa Borchert drove in two runs as she reached on an error. Mya Tautges doubled in Borchert for a 4-0 lead.

Ceynowa led off the second inning with a double and scored on a Kasia Kroll groundout. Olivia Tautges followed with her solo home run for a 6-0 Brainerd edge.

Smith led off the third inning by being hit by a pitch. Borchert doubled her home. Lacy Busch walked and Ceynowa reached on an error to load the bases. Kappes walked home a run and Kroll hit a three-run double. Kroll scored on Olivia Tautges’ double for the 12-0 score.

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“I think these girls are very confident, but I don’t think they’re overconfident,” Jordan said. “I think they’re confident in their ability and they know they can get a hit if they need to. They want the ball to be hit to them. The pitchers all want to be in the circle. I think they’re confident, but also humble.”

Olivia Tautges enjoyed three straight 3-up, 3-down innings before a Crush player finally reached base on a walk. That was followed by an error to put runners on second and first. The threat was squashed as Ceynowa pulled off an unassisted double play with a catch of a line drive and a quick tag of second base.

“We’re very confident and we trust each other in the field a lot,” Ceynowa said. “We rely on each other if something is hit in the gap.”

Tautges then retired the next four batters she faced to advance Brainerd to the section semifinals 4:30 p.m. Thursday in Brainerd.

“I think we’re very prepared,” Ceynowa said. “We come in with a confident mindset and think everything is starting over now. It’s 0-0, well 1-0 now. We’re very confident and we think we can do it.”

St. Cloud 0 0 2

Brainerd 12 10 1

WP: Olivia Tautges. LP: Lola Jacobs. 2B: Brd-Kasia Kroll, Olivia Tautgs, Emma Tautges, Elsa Borchert, Maren Ceynowa. HR: Brd-Olivia Tautges.

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 218-855-5856 or jeremy.millsop@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop.

Warriors 12, St. Cloud 0

Key: Olivia Tautges threw a no-hitter and seven different Warriors collected hits

Section: Brd 10-0, SCT 1-6

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Overall: Brd 21-0, SCT 11-11

Next: Brainerd hosts Rogers/Moorhead winner in Section 8-4A winner’s bracket semifinal 4:30 p.m. Thursday, May 26

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