BP’s DeBoer commits to UND

Published 9:48 pm Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Blooming Prairie’s Tricia DeBoer, left, beats out an infield hit in a scrimmage with Austin at Todd Park Monday. DeBoer has made a verbal commitment to play Division I softball at the University of North Dakota next season. -- Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com

BLOOMING PRAIRIE — Blooming Prairie senior Tricia DeBoer has always been fast.

But she was never going to settle for being just another fast softball player.

DeBoer, an outfielder and leadoff hitter who holds BP’s school record for career hits and stolen bases, has improved every facet of her game since she started playing for the Awesome Blossoms as an eighth grader.

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“She’s improved on something every year and the last couple of years her defense has rally gotten better,” said BP head softball coach Ali Mach. “We’re really lucky and fortunate to have her. If you don’t get a couple of runs out of her every game, you’re surprised. She ignites us right away and she’s just an awesome player to have on your team.”

Last year DeBoer was selected second team all-state for Class ‘A’ as she hit .550, scored 34 runs and was 33-for-33 on steals for a BP team that took fourth in the Class ‘A’ state tournament. DeBoer hopes to get even better this year and the years to come as she has made a verbal commitment to play softball at Division I University of North Dakota, which is located in Grand Forks, N.D., next season.

“I think I’m ready for it. It’ll take a lot of work to get used to it, but I think I can do it,” DeBoer said of playing for the Sioux. “I love playing softball and I’m really happy I get to play in college. Hopefully I can coach someday.”

DeBoer had spoken to some Division II and Division III schools, but she wanted to play at the highest college level. She hopes to work her way into the UND lineup and eventually earn an athletic scholarship with her play on the field.

“I toured their campus and I really liked it,” DeBoer said. “They’re looking for speed, so hopefully I get to play more than I would at other schools in my younger years.”

DeBoer, a natural righty, started slap hitting from the left side of the plate for the Blossoms as an eighth grader and she’s added a little bit of power over the years.

“It feels awkward from the right side now,” DeBoer said.

DeBoer has faced plenty of tough teams in her high school career as BP played in the last two Class ‘A’ state tournaments, but her summers are even tougher on her as she has played for the Minnesota Irish, a premier girls fast-pitch club based out of Rosemount.

With that team, DeBoer has played all over the country, including California, Colorado and Utah.

Mach, who has coached BP for nine years, thinks that DeBoer could be the first softball player from BP to play at the Division I level.

Mach is confident that DeBoer will put in the work it takes to crack UND’s lineup.

“She works really hard and she’s on the field almost every day. We break practice and she wants to take more at-bats,” Mach said. “She’ll have some growing pains (next year) and she’ll have to work through some different things, but it she wants it I really think she can work for it and I think she can do well.”

But before DeBoer starts thinking about her college softball career, she still would like to play in one more state tournament with the Blossoms.

“We’re just hoping to make another good run and finish my senior year strong,” DeBoer said. “We just go and play and have fun. I don’t think we think about (the state tournament) when we play games, we just have fun with it.”

No matter what DeBoer does this season with BP, she has definitely left her mark on the softball program — and it’s a mark that won’t go away anytime soon.

“Her teammates see the rewards she’s gotten and they want to work that hard too,” Mach said. “She’s a role model for the younger kids for what hard work can do and she’s an all-around nice, good kid. She’s friendly, funny and pretty laid back. She’s just a great combination.”

BP opens its season at Southland Tuesday at 5 p.m.