Softball: Warriors’ defense shines against Spuds
Brainerd hosted the Moorhead Spuds.
BRAINERD — It must be hard being the younger sister of two stud athletes.
Mya Tautges makes it look easy.
The freshman pitched four innings of relief Tuesday, May 17, and kept the Moorhead Spuds at bay, helping the Warriors to a 2-0 victory at Adamson Field.
Mya Tautges struck out eight and allowed three hits and one walk in her four innings of relief.
“I just wanted to be confident out there,” Mya Tautges said. “My changeup was working pretty well so I wanted to attack them with that. I just wanted to pitch it hard and use different pitches and spots.”
In the top of the seventh, Mya Tautges struck out the first two batters she faced. She had Moorhead’s No. 8 hitter Taylor Brubske in trouble before the center fielder dropped a single into right field. Two strikes later, Mya Tauges forced Riane Mohagen into a 6-3 groundout to end the game. Fitting as the shortstop was Olivia Tautges and playing first base was Emma Tautges.
“When I would strike somebody out they would say, ‘Good job,’ and, ‘Keep going,’ and if I threw a good pitch they were yelling, ‘Good pitch,’” Mya Tautges said of her sisters. “They really had my back. They give me a lot of confidence and it’s a lot of fun.”
Mya Tautges substituted for her older sister, Emma Tautges. Emma Tautges struck out one and allowed just one hit and one walk in three innings to earn the win. She threw 45 pitches, 27 for strikes.
Mya Tauges threw 65 pitches with 48 going for strikes. The first two batters she faced reached in the fourth, but after a groundout to herself, she struck out the next two batters to end the threat.
“Olivia is kind of our No. 1 pitcher, but we have three No. 1s,” Warriors head coach Shane Jordan said. “Emma pitched the first few innings and then Mya came in and cleaned it up. Our girls in the circle have been great all year.
“I’m super impressed with Mya. She’s young, but softball wise, she’s not young. This is Year Two for her. A lot of girls don’t get two years of varsity softball. She’s going to get five. We ask her to do a lot. We expect a lot out of her and I hope she expects a lot out of herself.”
Brainerd opened with a run in the bottom of the first. Kasia Kroll doubled and later scored on an Olivia Tautges groundout.
Meghan Smith opened the second inning with a single and ended up on third after an error. Brainerd couldn’t get the run across, however.
Maren Ceynowa opened the third with a single and later moved to second, but was left there.
Finally, in the sixth, Emma Tautges ripped a triple and scored on a Smith single for an insurance run.
“It’s really important to be playing these good teams and winning these close games because then we have confidence going into the playoffs,” Mya Tautges said. “With confidence, we should play our best.
“We’re very confident that we are going to go to state.”
Brainerd moves to 18-0 and is No. 2 in the Class 4A Quality Results Formula. On Monday, they beat No. 8 Centennial. Only Rosemount is ranked higher.
“It’s important to win all kinds of games,” Jordan said. “We’ve won some close. We’ve come from behind. We’ve won some big games. We’ve been able to do a little bit of everything. It’s good for the stretch run.
“This is why we built our schedule the way we did. We had a great win last night against a top-five team in the state. But no matter who the opponent is, finding a way to win is super important because that’s what is coming. We have to win every game here on out.”
Moorhead 0 4 1
Brainerd 2 6 0
WP: Emma Tautges. LP: Avery Babolton. 2B: Brd-Kasia Kroll. 3B: Brd-Emma Tautges.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 218-855-5856 or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop .
Warriors 2, Moorhead 0
Key: Brainerd pitchers held Moorhead to four hits and struck out nine batters.
Overall: Brd 18-0, M 9-6
Next: Brainerd hosts Elk River 5 p.m. Thursday, May 19.