Softball: Blossoms are making movesPublished 9:29pm Monday, March 31, 2014
BLOOMING PRAIRIE — Last season Blooming Prairie junior Tessa Ivers was running down fly balls in the outfield for the Awesome Blossoms softball team. This year she’ll be behind the plate calling pitches for a freshman hurler.
Despite winning their first Class A state title in their fourth straight state appearance last spring, the Blossoms are not afraid to make changes that could make them a better team.
Ivers isn’t the only one changing spots this spring as BP head coach Ali Mach said she is looking to find the best lineup for her squad by the end of the season. That means many players will get to play in several positions throughout the season.
“I expect there will be quite a few position changes. It’s possible what you see at the beginning of the season isn’t what you’ll see at the middle or end of the season. There will be a lot of combinations we’ll try and we’ll see what fits for us,” Mach said. “We definitely have people that are very capable for all of those roles. It doesn’t make me nervous, and it’s actually nice to know that I can throw people in different spots depending on situations.”
One of the biggest changes for BP will come at pitcher, were freshman Elly Strunk will take over in the circle. BP has had a veteran pitcher on all four of its state tournament teams, so the Blossoms will be in new territory this spring.
“She’s got some big shoes to fill,” Mach said of Strunk. “I’ve been impressed with her work ethic so far, but she’ll have to get used to the game experience. She is a ninth grader, so mentally she’s going to have to learn to be a little tougher. She definitely wants the role and she wants to be in that position. It should be good. As the season goes, she’ll grow and get more confident.”
Ivers knew her move to catcher was coming before the season and she’s not stressing out over it. She played catcher a little bit of her eighth and ninth grade years and her older sister Sam Ivers, who graduated last spring, played catcher for the Blossoms last year.
“If I can’t figure out how to do something, I can always give [Sam] a call and check with her,” Tessa said. “You have to change and adjust things every year and it just takes a little time before you get in the swing of things. We’ve got to find what everybody’s good at and exploit that. Everybody’s pretty comfortable with moving and doing whatever is asked of them.”
Some of the players on BP’s roster are learning to play all over the field, but one who isn’t making a move is BP third baseman Sydney Heiber. The senior is likely to stay at third as she gave BP solid defense and solid hitting last season and she’s looking to do what she can to help out her teammates this year.
“We’re just taking it day by day to see what we can do to improve. I’m sure there will be bumps, but if we work hard, I think it will all work out,” Heiber said. “We’re behind [Elly] and we’re ready to do what we have to do to help her out.”
BP is scheduled to open its season at home against Maple River April 10 at 4:30 p.m.