*Photos by Holden Law
Editors Note: stats are as of April 22.
As the Yellowjacket softball team continues to be on a roll throughout the season there is a strong connection between two of the players leading the team… literally. Kaela Kraemer (junior) and Tayler Kraemer (sophomore) are sisters.
Batting first and second they have been a major part of helping UW-Superior to the top of the UMAC standings this season with a record of 11-1 in conference.
Kaela, who originally went to Madison College said, “I had no intention of playing college softball until the summer after my senior year of high school.” She has been amazing at the plate, leading the conference with 48 hits while getting on base 57.1% of the time, which also has brought in a total of 27 runs batted in for the team this season, third best for the ‘Jackets.
Defensively is where the Yellowjackets look to Tayler as the starting pitcher, who has 14 recorded wins on the season which is just one lower than the conference leader.
Most recently she had one of her best games on April 20 against North Central, pitching a no-hitter in a five inning 21-0 victory which included six of her total 68 strikeouts.
Tayler can also hit, third for UWS in total hits and batting average, 33 and .379 respectively. Getting on base these women have shown their speed this year, also representing UWS well in the UMAC leaders of stolen bases taking the first and third spot.
Kaela led the conference last season in stolen bases and is doing it again but by a much wider margin. With 52 stolen bases she is 34 ahead of second place already.
As UWS looks ahead to the end of the season and the start of the playoffs they will hope for the production to continue from the Spring Green, Wis. products.
Both sisters said, “there are good and bad things about playing together, we know each other inside and out so it allows us to be extremely proficient and have trust that can’t be developed in a short time.”
Obviously being around a sibling this often can lead to some quarrels, but it doesn’t affect the team. “There is a flip side to being around your sister 24/7, luckily the team knows how to deal with our bickering by walking away and staying out of it,” Tayler said. Because of this understanding they can work it out on their own.
“There is nothing like the all or nothing feel of the postseason, it’s a constant adrenaline rush,” Kaela said about the experience. With the Yellowjackets in a prime position for the postseason it will be exciting to see what these two can do but that relationship isn’t the only one they have on the field.
“I cannot think of a more hardworking group of girls and I truly want to give them the world. This passion and the relationships we have push me to play for everyone else on the field. We have been extremely lucky and thus far had a really good season, so I am excited and optimistic for the postseason,” Tayler said.
But the entire team seems to be excited as the games count down, their last regular season action will take place at the 2022 UMAC Crossover hosted by Bethany Lutheran in North Mankato, Minn.