Blossoms are one win from state

Published 10:16 pm Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Blooming Prairie's Tayla Jones is greeted by teammates after making the final out BP's Section 1A opening round win over Wabasha-Kellogg Tuesday night at Todd Park. - Eric Johnson/

The Awesome Blossoms are one win away from getting back to the Class ‘A’ state softball tournament.

BP (19-1 overall) didn’t miss a beat as it took an early lead and held on to beat Wabasha/Kellogg 7-0 in a Section 1A semifinal game in Todd Park Tuesday.

Blooming Prairie's Erica Mankse delivers against Wabasha-Kellogg during the opening round of the Section 1A Tournament Tuesday at Todd Park. - Eric Johnson/

The Blossoms put up five runs in the first as Julia Manges lined a shot off the pitcher to score a run and Shelbi Swenson singled in two runs. Two more runs scored on a throwing error off a single by Sidni Olson.

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“The girls are hitting the ball nicely all the way through,” BP head coach Ali Mach said. “They have a lot of confidence and rightfully so because they’ve worked hard to get where they are.”

While the Blossoms started strong, they slowed down after that, but pinch hitter Kelsey Kubista knocked in a run to make it 6-0 with two outs in the fourth.

“We all hit better against fast pitchers, but we hit the holes when we needed to and we made the plays when we needed to,” said BP catcher Hunter Henderson, who drew two walks. “Overall, I think we did a good job and we made (their pitcher) work.”

BP pitcher Erica Manske got out of a few jams early on. She got out of the first by striking out two straight hitters with runners on second and third and she escaped a bases loaded with no outs jam in the second by striking out three straight. W/K had runners on first and second with one out in the third when Manske, who hasn’t allowed an earned run in four postseason contests, got a strikeout and a pop out.

“I thought (Erica) pitched a great game and the girls scored some early runs to take the pressure off,” Mach said.

BP will have two chances to beat W/K (15-10 overall) to get to state Thursday at Todd Park at 5 p.m.

“We know we have to work hard and it’s not by any means the time to let up,” Mach said.

W/K 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 4 3

BP 5 0 0 1 0 1 X — 7 8 1

BP pitching: Erica Manske (W), 7 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 0 R, 13 K, HBP

BP hitting: Tricia DeBoer, 2-for-4, R, 2 SB; Manske, 1-for-3, RBI; Tayla Jones, 1-for-3, double, R, BB; Hunter Henderson, 0-for-1, 2 BBs; Julia Manges, 1-for-3, RBI, R; Sidni Olson, 1-for-3; Shelbi Swenson, 1-for-3, 2 RBIs, R; Jenna Krell, 0-for-3; Sam Ivers, 0-for-2; Kelsey Kubista, 1-for-1, RBI; Taylor Farr, R; Mariah Holland, R