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Softball: Warriors trounce Apollo for 8th-straight conference win

Brainerd hosts St. Cloud Apollo in Central Lakes Conference softball Thursday, May 6.

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Brainerd's Hillary Hoelz throw to Sam Stay at first for an out against St. Cloud Apollo Thursday, May 6, 2021, at Adamson Field in Brainerd. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

A five-run first and a five-run third inning were enough for Brainerd to get a 10-0 five-inning Central Lakes Conference win over St. Cloud Apollo Thursday, May 6.

Apollo managed one hit in the five innings as all three Tautges sisters pitched. Emma Tautges started and pitched two shutout innings with three strikeouts.

Mya Tautges pitched the next two innings and allowed no hits with two strikeouts. Olivia Tautges pitched the fifth and struck out the side with a walk.

In the bottom of the first, Josie Kappes led off with a single and stole second and third before scoring on a Kasia Kroll single.

Kroll stole second and advanced to third on a two-base error. An Emma Tautges triple drove in both Olivia Tautges and Kroll to make it 3-0.

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Brainerd Softball vs Apollo Gallery

Karlie Anderson laid a bunt down to score Emma Taugtes and Anderson advanced to third on a throwing error.

Mya Tautges drove in Anderson on a sacrifice fly that was dropped by Apollo’s right fielder to make it 5-0.

“We definitely had a goal today to come in and just do it right away,” said Brainerd senior Zakia Herron on the team’s fast start. “Today we really came in and got after it right away which was good for us.”

In the five-run third inning, Emma Taugtes led off by reaching on a two-base error by the centerfielder. Anderson knocked her second single and, with runners on the corners, a throwing error by Apollo’s catcher scored Emma Taugtes when the Warriors tried a double steal.

After a Mya Tautges walk, Kate Chaussee worked a long at-bat that featured two wild pitches, one of which scored Anderson to make it 7-0.

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Chaussee was eventually hit by a pitch and Herron notched an RBI on a sacrifice fly that scored Mya Tautges.

Meghan Smith ripped a triple to score Chaussee and Smith scored on a Lindsy Busch sacrifice fly to make it 10-0.

“We know we can rely on any part of the lineup,” Herron said. “It’s not just the first part of our order where we come out right away. We know all the way through we are strong.”

The win marks the Warriors’ second straight five-inning shutout. Warrior pitchers have also allowed just one hit in the last two games.

“We all know we can trust our pitchers,” Herron said. “I think that is fundamental with our team. We trust them and come out and hit for them, too.”

The Warriors have three conference opponents left on the schedule with two of them being doubleheaders. Brainerd’s 8-0 Central Lakes Conference record ties Sartell for first. The Warriors will meet the Sabres Tuesday, May 11, for a doubleheader and likely the conference title.

“We really need to be at each other and not in a bad way, but just keep everyone focused,” Herron said. “As leaders, we need to keep that up too to make sure people aren’t drifting off. We are very confident, though, and I hope we can keep at it. We just need to make the plays and get outs.”

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Apollo 0 1 5
Brainerd 10 6 0
WP: Emma Tautges. LP: Lindsey Zimmer. 3B: Brd-Meghan Smith, Emma Tautges.

Warriors 10, Apollo 0

Key: Two five-run innings give the Warriors a 10-0 win against Apollo in five innings.

Conference: Brd 8-0.

Overall: Brd 10-1.

Next: Brainerd at Sartell (2) 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 11.

CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or conrad.engstrom@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/the_rad34.

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