Softball: Warriors walk away with win over Fergus

The Brainerd Warriors hosted the Fergus Falls Otters Thursday, May 11.

Pitcher throws the ball.
Brainerd's Joze Tautges pitches against Fergus Falls on Thursday, May 11, 2023, at Brainerd.
Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

BRAINERD — A little patience allowed the Brainerd Warriors to make quick work of the Fergus Falls Otters Thursday, May 11.

Brainerd walked eight times and collected nine hits on its way to a five-inning 12-2 Central Lakes Conference victory at Adamson Field.

The first eight pitches Josie Kappes saw were all balls. She added two stolen bases following those walks and scored three runs. The one pitch that wasn’t a ball, Kappes lined up the middle of the infield to drive in a run and keep a nine-run third inning rolling.

“Pitch selection is super important,” Kappes said. “To be able to hit it when it’s in your zone just makes you so much more successful as a batter vs. not chasing pitches. It gives you confidence to know that they have to throw it into your zone.”

Mya Tautges went 2-2 with a walk, a triple, two runs and three RBIs. Lacy Busch drove in two runs and scored herself. She was 1-2 with a walk. Maren Ceynowa doubled and drove in a run. She finished 2-3 with two runs scored. Elsa Borchert was 2-3 with a run and two RBIs. Molly Wieland also drove in two runs.


“It’s good to have awareness of the strike zone and we talk about that all the time,” Brainerd head coach Shane Jordan said. “We give them two free strikes. They can swing as hard as they want and then on the third one they have to put it in play. We talk about a team swing. They have to slow their swing down and choke up on the bat and put the ball in play.”

Joze Tautges, Emily Rademacher and Sophe Mattson all walked and either scored or their pinch runner did.

As usual, Brainerd was aggressive on the base paths. The Warriors finished with five stolen bases.

“The catcher actually had a pretty good arm, but they have to make a good play in able to get me so I just took chances and they paid off,” Kappes said

Tautges was perfect through three innings. Five of her eight strikeouts came in that stretch. She faced just 19 batters and threw 75 pitches with 52 of those going for strikes. She scattered three hits and walked just one batter.

“Joze did great today,” Kappes said. “I was super impressed with her. She only one walk, which was really impressive and she had a lot of Ks, which help a lot.”

Fergus’ two runs came after Brainerd built a 12-0 lead through three innings. The Otters’ little rally was halted by a Tautges strikeout and a ground out. In the top of the fifth, Tautges forced a fly out, a strike out and a ground ball to her sister Mya Tautges at short to end the game.

“She’s growing every outing,” Jordan said. “She’s getting better at hitting her spots. Her change-up was really good early. That’s what it takes for her to be successful. If she can throw her change so that either they swing at it or it comes in as a strike then she’s really good.”


The Warriors improve to 13-2 overall and 7-2 in the conference. Brainerd travels to Forest Lake for a three-game tournament. The Warriors open against Anoka in the bracket format.

Brainerd then hosts Moorhead 5 p.m. Tuesday and Andover 5 p.m. Friday before Section 8-4A playoffs begin.

“This win was nice,” Kappes said. “It’s a big confidence builder, especially for some of the girls that have been struggling against better pitching. This was a good game for us.”

Fergus Falls 2 3 1

Brainerd 12 9 0

WP: Joze Tautges. LP: Karyssa Eberle. 2B: Brd-Maren Ceynowa, Elsa Borchert. 3B: Brd-Mya Tautges.

Warriors 12, Fergus Falls 2

Key: Warriors walked eight times.

Conference: Brd 7-2


Overall: Brd 13-2

Next: Brainerd at Forest Lake Tournament 8:30 a.m. Saturday, May 13.

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Covering the Brainerd lakes area sports scene for the past 23 years.
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