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Section 8-4A Softball: Warriors repay favor against Tech in opening round

In the 2017 Section 8-4A tournament, the sixth-seeded St. Cloud Tech Tigers waltzed into Adamson Field and ended the second-seeded Brainerd Warriors' season with a stunning 9-inning defeat. A year later, Tuesday's opening round of the tournament ...

Brainerd Warrior Elaina Christiansen waits to catch a fly ball ball deep in center field in the first game of the Section 8-4A Tournament at Don Adamson Field. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch Video and Gallery
Brainerd Warrior Elaina Christiansen waits to catch a fly ball ball deep in center field in the first game of the Section 8-4A Tournament at Don Adamson Field. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch Video and Gallery

 

In the 2017 Section 8-4A tournament, the sixth-seeded St. Cloud Tech Tigers waltzed into Adamson Field and ended the second-seeded Brainerd Warriors' season with a stunning 9-inning defeat.

A year later, Tuesday's opening round of the tournament in Brainerd presented an almost identical scenario. Last year, and this spring, the Warriors beat Tech twice during the regular season. This year Tech again was No. 6 while the Warriors are No. 3.

Brainerd was determined not to repeat last year. Behind stellar pitching from Jordyn Sullivan, and timely power hitting in a 4-run fifth inning, the Warriors blanked Tech 7-0.

"We just talked about that, avenging a little bit of demons so to speak from last year," Warriors coach Shane Jordan said. "We're not the same team. They're not the same team from last year either. We have a new identity. They have new a identity. I like our identity right now.

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"We're playing good softball. We're pitching well. We're playing good defense. We're getting timely hitting. That's a sign of a good team at this time of year. I'm excited for Elk River Thursday."

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Warriors 7, Tech 0

  • The key: Brainerd broke the game open with a 4-run fifth inning
  • Overall: Brd 16-5, Tech 5-16
  • Next: No. 3 Brainerd at No. 2 Elk River in Section 8-4A winners bracket TBA Thursday, May 24.
  • For more photos to to https://bit.ly/2s68zxe

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On the mound, Sullivan was in a zone. She did not allow a Tiger runner beyond second base until the seventh and retired 12 straight hitters from the third to the seventh. The Tigers loaded the bases in the seventh before Sullivan coaxed a ground ball back to the circle to end the contest.

She finished with a 4-hitter, struck out five and walked one.

"She was phenomenal," Jordan said. "She keeps getting better. The sky's the limit for her in the future. I'm just really happy where she's at right now. She's challenging hitters, hitting her spots, spinning the ball really nice."

The victory was Brainerd's fourth-straight shutout. The Warriors last gave up a run during a 10-6 loss to Coon Rapids May 12.

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Leading 2-0 through four innings, and having only two hits, Brainerd struck for four runs in the fifth. Emma Korhonen opened with a walk and swiped second. One out later, Elaina "Bootsie" Christiansen planted a 2-run homer over the left-center field fence.

"After getting walked twice, I was really happy that I got a strike," Christiansen said. "It was just a perfect pitch. It was a good hit. I made good contact and it just went over the fence."

Catcher Clare Ceynowa followed by launching a long solo shot to left, her seventh home run of the season and 13th of her career, for a 5-0 lead. Sullivan followed with a double. Jenna Meyer ran for her and scored on Cassidy Zontelli's single.

The Warriors scored unearned runs in the first, fourth and sixth.

In the first, Lexi Roby doubled, stole third and scored on a throwing error. Sullivan walked in the sixth, Meyer ran for her and tallied on a wild pitch. In the seventh, Kasia Kroll bunted for a hit, stole second and came home on a throwing error.

Elk River, ranked 10th in Class 4A, is 13-4 overall. The Elks and Warriors did not play during the regular season.

"We just have to keep playing our game, have our great defense out there, keep our bats going," Christiansen said.

 

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St. Cloud Tech 000 000 0-0 4 4

Brainerd 100 141 x-7 8 1

Tech: Taylor Woommavovah, Katie Hinkemeyer (5) and Bailey Woommavovah.

Brainerd: Jordyn Sullivan and Clare Ceynowa.

WP: Sullivan. LP: T. Woommavovah. 2B: Brd-Lexi Roby, Sullivan; SC-Bailey Woommavovah. HR: Brd-Elaina Christiansen, Ceynowa.

Related Topics: BRAINERD WARRIORS
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