HIGHLIGHTS: Bemidji Softball Swept At Brainerd In Section Doubleheader

Three home runs combined across both games from Olivia Tautges and dominant pitching performances from herself and her sister Emma put Brainerd in the driver’s seat for 10-1 and 12-1 wins against Bemidji softball on Thursday at Brainerd High School.

Game 1: Brainerd 10-1 Bemidji

Six second-inning runs from Brainerd–highlighted by a grand slam from Olivia Tautges with two outs–backed Tautges’ stifling outing in the circle to drop the Lumberjacks in the first game of the doubleheader.

Bemidji starter Aleah Shogren stranded a runner on third in a scoreless first inning with help from three groundouts to Lexi Tatro at shortstop. But after three straight singles loaded the bases in the second, a hit batter scored a run with one out and leadoff hitter Josie Kappes popped up a single between home and the circle to score another run.

An out at home brought Tautges to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded. With the count 0-1, the Brainerd senior uncorked a drive to left-center field for a grand slam and sudden 6-0 lead.

While Tautges fired a perfect opening three innings in the circle, the Warriors expanded the lead to 8-0 in the bottom of the third with RBI knocks from Elsa Borchert’s double and Maren Ceynowa’s single.

Bemidji broke through against Tautges in the fourth inning, getting an RBI double from Elizabeth Oster with two outs.

Tautges yet again went yard in the bottom of the fourth with a two-run shot off Shogren to center.

The Lumberjacks used quality defense to keep Brainerd off the scoreboard for the remainder of the game. Catcher Beth Bolte erased a runner in the fifth with a sharp throw to second that prevented a stolen base.

Shogren permitted a two-out single in the sixth and the Warriors made it two runners on base with the help of an error. But Jody Pemberton’s quick glove at third base ended the inning when she pulled in a sharp line drive.

But Bemidji could not consistently find contact against Olivia Tautges, who scattered five hits in a complete game while striking out 14 batters and issuing one walk. Pemberton led the Lumberjacks at the plate with a 2-for-3 performance that included a double.

Game 2: Brainerd 12-1 Bemidji (F/4)

The Warriors piled up 10 runs in the first two innings combined on their way to rapidly ending a game that was only scheduled as a five-inning contest.

Playing as the visitors in game two, Brainerd’s first seven batters reached base against new Bemidji pitcher Mariah Graves with the first five of those all scoring. Emma Tautges and Borchert each brought in two with singles that were part of a five-hit attack in the inning–a barrage aided by two errors by the Jacks.

Pemberton scored in the bottom half of the inning with help from an error to put Bemidji on the board, but the Warriors’ response was swift in the second. Five two-out runs would score to push the lead to 10-1, ignited by a solo home run from Olivia Tautges for her third homer of the doubleheader.

Single runs in the third and fourth innings–the latter on a home run from Ella Chaussee–increased Brainerd’s lead beyond ten-run rule limits, while the Lumberjacks were held to just three hits by Emma Tautges in the circle.