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Awesome Blossoms move on to subsection softball title game

BLOOMING PRAIRIE — Blooming Prairie erased all doubts early as it topped Hayfield 13-3 in five innings in the second round of the Subsection 1A West Division softball tournament in BP Thursday.

The Awesome Blossoms (20-2 overall) came out swinging as Sam Johnson blasted a two-run double to center field in the first inning and BP led 8-0 after the first frame.

“We came out on fire right away and that takes a lot of pressure off us. But sometimes it takes almost too much pressure off, because you get a little relaxed on defense,” BP head coach Ali Mach said. “We played OK today, but we could’ve played with a little more energy.”

No. 1 seeded BP, which has now won 18 straight, did most of its damage at the top of the order where slap-hitters Tricia DeBoer and Anna Peterson created havoc. DeBoer went 2-for-4 with 3 runs and 3 stolen bases, while Peterson was 3-for-3 with 2 runs and an RBI.

“We always play small ball and try to push ourselves and force the other team to make errors,” said Peterson, a senior first baseman. “Then we just leave it to our big hitters, who hit us in. It works out well.”

BP took an 11-0 lead in the third inning when Peterson knocked in a run and helped DeBoer score with a two-out double steal.

But this time the No. 5 seeded Vikings (5-17 overall) had an answer. Hayfield’s Renee Stier walked, Dani Wagner reached first when BP couldn’t throw Stier out at second and Abby Blanchard and Grace Walker knocked in runs to make it 11-3.

“I’m surprised how we responded,” Hayfield head coach Jana Wagner said. “At the beginning of the season we don’t bounce back and we don’t hit the ball like we did. (BP pitcher Erica) Manske probably would’ve had a no-hitter at the beginning of the season.”

BP ended the game in the bottom of the fifth when Peterson had an infield single and two runs scored on a Hayfield throwing error.

“I don’t think we were overwhelmed by them scoring. It was just little plays were we need to get outs instead of going after the lead runner,” Mach said. “I think we’ll play a little more solid on Saturday. Now that we’re in a situation where it’s double elimination, the kids will be able to relax a little bit and have that extra energy.”

BP will play No. 2 Randolph (13-8 overall) in the Subsection 1A West Division Title game in Todd Park in Austin at 11 a.m.

The Section 1A tournament begins at 1 p.m. Saturday at Todd Park after the first games are played.

In the East Division Subsection, No. 4 Rushford/Peterson knocked off No. 1 Houston and No. 2 Hope Lutheran (17-2 overall) beat Lewiston/Altura. Those two teams will play Saturday at 11 a.m. at Todd Park.

Hayfield 0 0 0 3 0 — 3 3 5

BP 8 0 3 0 2 — 13 7 0

BP pitching: Erica Manske (W), 5 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 3 ER, 2 K

BP hitting: Tricia DeBoer, 2-for-4, 3 R, 3 SB; Anna Peterson, 3-for-3, RBI, 2 R, SB, BB; Tayla Jones, 1-for-2, R, SB, BB; Kelly Peterson, 0-for-2, R, SB, BB; Sam Johnson, 1-for-3, double, 2 RBIs, R; Hunter Henderson, 0-for-2, BB; Manske, 0-for-2, RBI, BB; Shelbi Swenson, 0-for-3, RBI, R, SB; Julia Magnes, 0-for-3, R; Jenna Krell, 2 R, 2 SB; Sam Ivers, R

Hayfield pitching: Jocelyn Sanvick (L), 4 1/3 IP, 7 H, 5 BB, 13 R, 9 ER, 3 K

Hayfield hitting: Jade Ryks, 0-for-3; Renee Stier, 1-for-2, R, SB, BB; Dani Wagner, 0-for-3, R, SB; Hannah Wiltgen, 0-for-1, R, BB; Katelyn Kramer, 0-for-2; Abby Blanchard, 0-for-2, RBI; Grace Walker, 1-for-2, RBI; Kailee Siemers, 1-for-2; Alyssa Selk, 0-for-2