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Softball preview: Brandon-Evansville with big shoes to fill

Head coach Kasi Sieling is excited to see how some new faces help the Chargers replace some key pieces from last year's 17-4 team.

Taylin Kramer
Brandon-Evansville's Taylin Kramer looks for a sign from her dugout during a playoff game against Pelican Rapids on June 1, 2021. Kramer is a junior this spring season and returns to the Chargers as one of the most experienced pitchers looking to help lead B-E from the circle.
Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press

The Brandon-Evansville softball team has some good players to build around heading into this spring season, but the Chargers need to prove they can replace some important positions after graduation a year ago.

Brandon-Evansville lost a four-year starter at catcher in Bailey Schaefer. Schaefer was the Pheasant Conference MVP in 2021, along with being named first-team all-state and the Chargers’ team MVP.

Brandon-Evansville also lost the Pheasant Conference pitcher of the year in Mikenna Pattrin, who was an all-state honorable-mention selection.

Pattrin threw 67.1 innings and posted a 2.39 ERA with 74 strikeouts last year. Schaefer hit at a .636 average with an incredible .706 on-base percentage as she tallied 35 runs and 32 RBIs.

“We have big shoes to fill this season and I’m excited to see how our younger

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players are able to step up and contribute to the team,” ninth-year head coach coach Kasi Sieling said. “We are going to be a bit inexperienced in a few positions, but bring back some good talent and leadership that will help us to be competitive in our conference and our section.”

Kiley Lund, Kaytlyn Pattrin, Sydney Schaefer, Taylin Kramer, Kendra Klimek, Sophie Koep and Kylee Dingwall all return with some level of varsity experience.

“I think we will have strong pitching with a staff led by Taylin Kramer, who brings a lot of great experience and will continue to work hard for us,” Sieling said. “Our upperclassmen do a great job of working hard and communicating with their teammates to push everyone to learn and get better. I know this team is going to show up every day to work hard, have fun and always strive to get better, and that’s all we can ask as a coaching staff.”

Sieling said Tahira Schaffran, Haddy Baune, Claire Boesl, Madeline Stich, Hallie Richter, Kyla Klemenhagen and Jenna Sturges are some of the newcomers who could make an impact at the varsity level.

“With the graduation of 4-year starting catcher Bailey Schaefer, that will be a spot we are going to have to learn and develop as the season progresses, but we have girls ready to step in and I’m excited to see what they can bring to the team,” Sieling said. “Developing consistent hitting throughout our batting order is something we will need to continue to focus on.”

The Chargers will try to win their eighth straight Pheasant Conference championship this spring, and Sieling sees Hancock and Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley as two of the top teams to contend with in the conference.

Hancock, which is coming off a Class A state championship in girls basketball after a 30-1 season, should also have a team capable of competing well in the Section 6A Tournament, with Sieling viewing New York Mills and CGB as other programs atop the 6A field.

2022 BRANDON-EVANSVILLE SOFTBALL

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COACHES - Head coach - Kasi Sieling - 9th season, 111-40; Assistant coaches - Erika Traphagen, Pam Schjei, Mikayla Pikkaraine

ROSTER - SENIORS - Kiley Lund, 1B/C; Kaytlyn Pattrin, OF/P; Kyla Klemenhagen, IF; JUNIORS - Sydney Schaefer, OF/C; Taylin Kramer, P; Sophie Koep, 1B/2B; Kendra Klimek, OF; SOPHOMORES - Kylee Dingwall, SS/P; Jenna Sturges, IF; FRESHMEN - Haddy Baune, 3B/1B; Claire Boesl, OF/P; Hallie Richter, OF; Tahira Schaffran, 2B; EIGHTH-GRADE - Madeline Stich, C/1B/OF

BRANDON-EVANSVILLE SOFTBALL SCHEDULE

April 9 at Minnewaska Tournament

April 14 vs. CGB (DH), 4 p.m.

April 21 at Ashby (DH), 4 p.m.

April 22 vs. Rothsay (DH), 4 p.m.

April 25 vs. Wheaton-HN (DH), 4 p.m.

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April 29 at Hillcrest (DH), 4 p.m.

May 3 at Upsala, 5 p.m.

May 6 at Hancock (DH), 4 p.m.

May 9 at Parkers Prairie, 4:30 p.m.

May 12 vs. Ortonville (DH), 4 p.m.

May 17 vs Browerville, 5 p.m.

May 23 Section 6A playoffs, TBD

Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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