Karlie Manton's birth certificate should be checked.
The softball program reads freshman next to her name, but Thursday the Brainerd Warriors mound magician continued her mastery of the Central Lakes Conference.
Manton struck out five and allowed three hits and no runs in a 6-0 defeat of St. Cloud Apollo at Adamson Field.
She did walk three batters and found herself in a bases-loaded jam in the top of the fourth. The varsity rookie didn't look like a freshman as she forced Apollo's Amanda Bunde to pop up back to the mound to end the threat.
"She's young but she's very good and she keeps getting better," said Warriors head coach Mike Zauhar. "She's getting tougher in tough situations. She'll get a couple of runners on and she'll bare down. She's really making great progress."
Brainerd Warriors freshman Karlie Manton delivered a pitch in Thursday's game. Manton struck out five and allowed just three hits in a 6-0 victory.
Brainerd Dispatch/Clint Wood
In the second inning Manton struck out all three batters with 10 pitches and improved her season totals to 49 strikeouts with just 15 walks. She's pitched all but one inning for the Warriors and has earned the respect of her older teammates.
"She's outstanding," said Warriors senior Stephanie Neugebauer. "She was hitting her spots and we were doing a mixture of every kind of pitch that she has. She was hitting every pitch so we figured why not use what we got."
Neugebauer finished 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI. The shortstop scored her first run in the first on a passed ball for a quick 1-0 lead.
Karlye Barron was also 2-3 as Brainerd finished with eight hits. None of the Warriors' hits went for extra bases, but aggressive baserunning allowed them to take advantage of two wild pitches and three passed balls.
Key: Brainerd's Karlie Manton struck out five and allowed just three hits and no runs in the shutout
Conf: Brd 6-0, Apollo 4-3
Overall: Brd 7-0, Apollo 4-3
Next: Brainerd at Sauk Rapids-Rice 4 p.m. Monday
"We got on them right away with one run and anytime you get up on a team in the first inning, whether it's one or two runs, that forces them into bad situations," said Neugebauer. "That's what we like doing."
Kayla Huether drove in Tika Klauck and scored herself later in the second.
After leading off the bottom of the third with a single, Neugebauer scored again for a 4-0 Warrior lead.
Kristi Ericksen and Hallsey Olson singled to start the fifth and each scored for the final Warrior runs.
"Tuesday, against Little Falls, we did not have a good game," said Zauhar. "We had a great practice Wednesday. We talked some things over and this team came ready to play today.
"We had aggressive baserunning. We were aggressive with the bat. We were aggressive in the field. The communication was good. The spirit in the dugout was good. We were very pleased with this effort."
St. Cloud Apollo 000 000 0 - 0 3 3
Brainerd 121 100 x - 6 8 0
WP: Karlie Manton. LP: Kaci Parsens. 2B: A-Heather Loso, Michela Neu. RBI: Brd-Steph Neugebauer, Kayla Huether. Sac: A-Lydia Gerads. LOB: Brd 4, A 5. DP: Brd 1.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5856.
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