Blossoms ready to bring their best to Class ‘A’ state softball tournament

Published 8:26 pm Monday, June 7, 2010

BLOOMING PRAIRIE – No one knows how the Awesome Blossoms will do when they open play at the Class ‘A’ state softball tournament this Thursday at Caswell Park in North Mankato, but their head coach is sure of one thing.

BP will bring its best to the table.

“I’ve reminded the kids that this is state and it’s the top eight teams. We’re looking to play our best and if we do the right things, it should work in our favor,” BP head coach Ali Mach said. “We’ve shown with we can compete with the best teams in the area and I think we can compete with the best in the state. The other team is going to have to beat us, because we’re not going to beat ourselves.”

The Blossoms (23-2 overall) will play their first state tournament game at 11 a.m. Thursday against Menagha (10-14 overall). BP will play again at 5 p.m. Thursday and the title game will be held Friday at 1:30 p.m.

While a 21-game winning streak has BP feeling good, it is not looking past anyone.

“The girls have learned how to play together and the streak is nice, but they know every time they step on the field, they’ve got a job to do,” Mach said. “We don’t overlook people and we don’t think too highly of ourselves.”

Part of the reason the Blossoms have won so much this year is their constant pursuit of perfection. Senior first baseman Anna Peterson said that the team has rated itself on a scale of one to five in several areas after every game this season.

“Our ratings are usually in the threes because we’re always looking to make improvements,” she said. “We’re not done. We’re trying to go the whole way and we can’t give up now.”

Anna Peterson, who is one of three seniors on BP, made the change from center field to first base this season and it has paid off for the most part.

“It’s a big change and I’m kind of clumsy out there sometimes, but it works,” she said.

BP senior Kelly Peterson also made a position change as she went from catcher to second base. She ended up making the All-State second team, along with junior pitcher Erica Manske.

“It took awhile for me to get used to using a fielder’s glove again, but it felt pretty good by the first game,” Kelly Peterson said.

BP has gotten strong leadership from its three seniors this year, but then again the underclassmen have done pretty good as well.

“Most of the kids don’t get into trouble and they’re good kids. It’s not hard to keep them in line,” Kelly Peterson said.

Kelly Peterson and Anna Peterson both said they want to win, but are focused on playing their best this week. They’ll likely have to calm themselves down before the first pitch of the state tourney.

“I expect there to be nerves and that’s a good part of competition,” Mach said. “The other teams will be nervous too. We’ll control what we can and worry about what we can do.”

BP is one of four teams with 20 wins at state and New Life Academy of Woodbury has the best record at 19-1 overall.