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Softball: Brandon-Evansville finds its footing in victories over Ortonville

Brandon-Evansville outscores Ortonville 28-3 in doubleheader

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Brandon-Evansville assistant coach Erika Traphagen and senior Katylyn Pattrin shake hands after Pattrin gets on base in a game against Ortonville on May 16, 2022. B-E swept the doubleheader against Ortonville.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press
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In the eyes of Brandon-Evansville softball head coach Kasi Sieling, one of the toughest challenges her team has had this season in games is coming from behind.

And in game one of a doubleheader against Ortonville on Monday, Brandon-Evansville was in that scenario, down 3-0 in the second inning.

A switch was flipped in that frame, and the B-E offense came alive. B-E scored seven runs in the second, eight in the third and three in the fourth to beat Ortonville 18-3 in four innings in game one.

“So far this season, we've kind of gotten down early and struggled to fight back,” Sieling said. “Seeing that when we got down early, we were able to fight back and lock it in from there was huge. This was a confidence booster.”

The runs kept pouring in after game one for the Chargers. They scored 10 runs in game two to win 10-0 in six innings.

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“Hitting is contagious and it runs through the dugout,” Sieling said. “Then everybody sees that they can do it. And so by getting those runs, especially with the bottom part of the lineup getting some hard hits and getting things going, that really allowed us to break it open.”

With the sweep, the Chargers improved to 4-5 on the season. The Chargers had a total of 22 hits in the doubleheader.

“I think it took a lot of confidence,” junior Sydney Schaefer said about getting the bats going. “A lot of good defensive plays boosted our confidence and [helped] get us going in the box.”

After surrendering three runs in the first inning, the Chargers shut down the Trojans. Leading that defensive shutdown in the final three innings was pitcher Taylin Kramer. Kramer struck out eight batters in the four-inning game.

“Having a good defense to back me up is really helpful,” Kramer said. “Knowing that they’re going to be there for me helps.”

Claire Boesl earned the win in the circle for the Chargers in game two. She struck out four batters and completed a combined no-hitter along with Kaytlyn Pattrin.

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Brandon-Evansville's Claire Boesl threw a combined no-hitter along with Kaytlyn Pattrin in the second game of a doubleheader against Ortonville on May 16, 2022.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

“Our pitchers threw really well and then our defense made some great plays,” Sieling said. And we made routine plays, to make sure that we kept runners off the bases.”

With just three seniors and three juniors in the Chargers program, the team is slightly on the younger end of the spectrum, as there are two sophomores, four freshmen and one 8th-grader. And the Chargers have had to fill some missing holes left by players from the 2021 team that went 17-4 who have since graduated.

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Some B-E players are getting used to the varsity game's speed.

“We're missing things by just half a second, or some of those instinct plays we're not quite ready for yet,” Sieling said. “We're learning on the fly. And with this spring that we've had, we're playing a lot of games in a row and we’ve not had a lot of practices. They are having to just learn this trial by fire and that's a challenge in itself. Finding the way to be focused when we have these crazy schedules, that’s a big challenge, but we’re learning.”

Eighth-grader Maddie Stich, a catcher, is one of those players who is stepping into a role on varsity, and she helped lead the Chargers in game one with two hits. Sieling said that Stich has been one of the biggest pleasant surprises in the nine games the Chargers have played.

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8th-grader Maddie Stich has been a mainstay at catcher for Brandon-Evansville in 2022.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

“She's caught every inning of every game we've played so far this season,” Sieling said. “She's done an awesome job and seeing her growing that chemistry that she's building with our pitchers has been really fun to watch.”

Senior Kylee Dingwall led the Chargers in hits in game one with three and senior Kiley Lund led the Chargers in hits in game two with three.

Sieling said that the team is still trying to establish its identity.

“Because we're younger, we’re still finding our confidence and finding our identity on the field,” Sieling said. “It's growing pains, but we’ll hopefully learn from it and Monday we did, so that was good.”

One of the main goals that the Chargers have daily is to have fun playing the game that they love.

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“That's something we really encourage. We want them to play with a lot of energy and a lot of excitement,” Sieling said. “That just makes the game more fun.”

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Members of the Brandon-Evansville softball team pose in the dugout during a doubleheader against Ortonville on May 16, 2022.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

Fun is what the Chargers appear to be having because of their team chemistry.

“We’ve grown really close and we all get along very well,” Schaefer said. “We always cheer each other on before ourselves. We get a lot done that way, a lot more than we would if we were playing for ourselves.”

With that energy comes the possibility of being overexcited, which can lead to mistakes. That is something Sieling said she is trying to teach the team about.

“Getting them to know when are the times we can have fun, be excited, be a little silly and then also when we need to lock it in and focus is something we're working on,” Sieling said. “If you focus on the fun and the positive, then if you have things not go your way, you can still be positive and excited. Then hopefully, you can turn things around more easily.”

In addition to having 22 hits in the doubleheader, the Chargers took advantage of 11 total errors by the Trojans. The Chargers had just one error in both games combined.

B-E has a busy week ahead, including a 10 a.m. doubleheader against Rothsay at home on Tuesday. B-E has six games in the next three days.

“We're just going to come in and we're going to play as hard as we can to get everything done that we can,” Schaefer said. “Good defense, good bats, good energy, good positivity and we're just going to play the way that we play. We are going to play how we know best and hope it works out.”

Game one -

Ortonville - 3 0 0 0 - 3 6 8

Brandon-Evansville - 0 7 8 3 - 18 11 1

B-E PITCHING - Taylin Kramer - W - 4 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 8 SO

B-E HITTING- Sydney Schaefer 1-4, R, RBI; Claire Boesl 1-2, 2 R; Sophie Koep 1-2, R; Kendra Klimek 1-2, RBI, 2 R; Kiley Lund 1-2, 3 RBI, 2 R; Kaytlyn Pattrin 1-2, 2 R; Kylee Dingwall 3-4, RBI, 3 R; Maddie Stich 2-3, RBI, 2 R

Game two -

Brandon-Evansville - 0 2 2 2 3 1 - 10 11 0

Ortonville - 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 0 0 3

B-E PITCHING - Claire Boesl - W - 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO; Kaytlyn Pattrin - 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO

B-E HITTING - Hallie Richter 1-2, RBI, R; Sydney Schaefer 1-4, 3B, 2 RBI, R; Taylin Kramer 1-2, R; Kiley Lund 3-3, 2 RBI, 2R; Kaytlyn Pattrin 2-3, RBI, 2 R; Kylee Dingwall 2-4, 2B, RBI, R; Kayla Bitzan-Anderson 1-1, R

Sam Stuve covers a variety of sports in the Douglas County area. He also is assigned to do some news stories as well.
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