Blossoms advance to state title gamePublished 11:23pm Thursday, June 7, 2012
NORTH MANKATO — The Awesome Blossoms made up for a game’s worth of missed opportunities as they put on a late charge to earn a place in the Class ‘A’ softball state championship game when they beat New Ulm Cathedral 3-2 at Caswell Park Thursday.
BP, which will play Cherry (25-0 overall) in the title game Friday at 1 p.m. at Caswell Park, trailed 2-0 going into the bottom of the sixth but it tied the game up on a two-out, two-run double by Tessa Ivers and the Blossoms (22-3 overall) won the game when Sam Ivers drew a bases loaded walk with two outs in the seventh inning.
“We made some mental mistakes on the bases and a call didn’t go in our favor (early on), but I told them in the fifth inning to keep pushing,” BP head coach Ali Mach said. “I couldn’t ask for anything more from those girls. They stuck together and they pulled it out.”
Tricia DeBoer scored BP’s winning run after she was hit by a pitch. She advanced to third on a bunt by Jenna Krell and a throwing error by the Greyhounds, but she had to sit through three more at-bats before she came home.
When she finally got home, the senior who has played in three state tournaments, finally let it go.
“I was so happy I was crying. It’s my senior year and this is a great thing to happen,” she said. “Now we’re going to go out play hard and try and get that title. It’s my last year and I want to get it.”
It didn’t seem to be BP’s night early on. The Blossoms had runners on second and third with nobody out and the heart of the order coming up in the third when Krell lined into a double play and Hunter Henderson flew out.
BP had a golden chance taken away when it had the bases loaded with one out in the fifth. Krell struck out and Henderson hit a grounder that looked to be headed through the infield until Cathedral’s Lisa Helget made one of the best plays of the tournament when she dove to scoop the ball and reached out to tag second for a force out and end the inning.
Tessa Ivers finally came through for the Blossoms when the freshman slap-hitter blooped a liner into center field and tied the game.
“I was just trying to help out any way I can,” Tessa Ivers said. “I was a little nervous, but I put it behind me and kept going.”
The Greyhounds got on the board in the second inning as they scored one run on a wild pitch on a play where it looked like Shelbi Swenson tagged out the runner. Cathedral made it a two-run game when MaKinnon Ehlenz tripled in a run with two outs.
From that point on Swenson took over.
“There were a couple of calls that didn’t go our way, but that’s okay,” said Swenson, who struck out 18 and allowed just two earned runs on the day. “We dominated after that. I’m totally wiped out, but I wouldn’t want to end the day any other way.”
NUC 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 — 2 7 2
BP 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 — 3 6 2
BP pitching: Shelbi Swenson (W), 7 IP, 6 H, BB, 2 ER, 7 K
BP hitting: Tricia DeBoer, 2-for-2, 2 doubles, R, SB, 2 HBP; Jenna Krell, 0-for-3; Hunter Henderson, 1-for-3, BB; Swenson, 0-for-4; Kelsey Kubista, 1-for-4, R; Sam Ivers, 0-for-2, RBI, R, BB, HBP; Julia Manges, 0-for-2; Tessa Ivers, 1-for-2, double, 2 RBI, BB; Kelsey Wolf, 1-for-2