Brainerd flexed its power muscles Tuesday, April 27.
With eight extra-base hits including two home runs, the Warriors swept the St. Cloud Tech Tigers 13-0 and 14-2 in a Central Lakes Conference doubleheader at Adamson Field.
Emma Tautges starred in Game One as she pitched all five innings and recorded six strikeouts. She also ended the game in the bottom of the fifth with a grand slam which was her third hit.
“I was just waiting on the ball and hitting it as hard as I could,” Emma Tautges said as she finished with five hits in the two games. “I was thinking beforehand about how cool it would be to hit a homer to end and I did.”
The Warriors tagged Tech starter Klaire Kliffmeyer for five runs in the bottom of the first of Game One.
Kliffmeyer walked three of the first five batters and hit another. Brainerd’s first hit came on a Zakia Herron double which scored Emma Tautges. The Warriors also stole five bases in the five-run first inning.
Brainerd got four more in the second inning highlighted by a two-RBI double by Sophie Mattson.
“I liked the way we hit,” Warriors head coach Shane Jordan said. “We had a good practice yesterday on just focusing on squaring the ball up and little things in the batter’s box that can help us. It paid off today with our power-hitters and our slap-hitters all around.”
Emma Tautges cruised along in the pitching circle allowing her first base runner in the fourth. She allowed three hits in her five innings.
“I really think that hitting my spots helped my pitching,” Emma Tautges said. “I was really trusting my defense as well. If they know what they are doing then I know what to do.”
Jordan liked how consistent his Game One starter was.
“She’s good at changing speed,” he said. “You never have to worry about her missing spots and I know she trusts her defense.”
Game Two started the same way as Game One. The Warriors jumped on Tech starter Grace Theis for two runs in the first and four runs in the second.
Olivia Tautges ripped one of her two Game Two doubles that scored Kasia Kroll in the top of the first. Olivia Tautges then scored on a throwing error the next at-bat.
In the second inning, Meghan Smith belted a three-run home run after a single and walk in front of her.
“We’ve been working on batting in practice every day taking good swings and swinging at good pitches,” Smith said. “It felt really good to hit that home run. I usually struggle with my hitting and so it felt good to get a hold of that one.”
Emma Tautges then got a RBI single to score Kroll who reached on a single. Kroll went 4-4 with three runs scored in Game Two.
In the third, Kate Chaussee ripped a double to score Hillary Hoelz to make it 7-0.
The Warriors kept their foot on the gas in the fourth and ripped four straight singles to score three more runs and lead 10-0.
Tech battled and scored a run off Mya Tautges in the bottom of the fifth to force a sixth inning at 10-1. The Warriors then scored four runs in the top of the sixth highlighted by Olivia Taugtes’ second RBI-double and a Mattson sacrifice fly.
“I think one-through-nine we have power,” Jordan said. “Even our slap-hitters can find a gap somewhere and get a double fairly easily. But we’ve shown the ability to play small-ball in the past and manufacture runs that way.”
Mya Tautges earned the win in Game Two with four strikeouts in five innings pitched. Olivia Tautges pitched the sixth inning and struck out two.
Brainerd will look to keep its undefeated Central Lakes Conference record Thursday, April 29, in a doubleheader against Willmar.
“We are just working on playing together and as a team,” Smith said. “When we do that we are pretty solid.”
St. Cloud Tech 0 3 2
Brainerd 13 8 0
WP: Emma Tautges. LP: Klaire Kliffmeyer. 2B: Brd-Zakia Herron, Sophie Mattson. HR: Brd-Emma Tautges.
St. Cloud Tech 2 6 3
Brainerd 14 18 0
WP: Mya Tautges. LP: Grace Theis. 2B: Brd-Olivia Tautges (2), Kasia Kroll, Kate Chaussee (2); SCT-Elise Hausmann, Hailie Christiansen. HR: Brd-Meghan Smith.
Warriors win 2
Key: Power plays a big role in Brainerd’s sweep of St. Cloud Tech.
Conference: Brd 4-0.
Overall: Brd 5-1.
Next: Brainerd at Willmar (2) 4 p.m. Thursday, April 29.
CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/the_rad34.