BP’s Swenson strikes out 11 to beat Rebels

Published 7:48 pm Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Blooming Prairie's Tricia DeBoer slides into home ahead of the tag from Southland pitcher Haley Kiefer, covering home on a passed ball Tuesday afternoon in Rose Creek. -- Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

ROSE CREEK — Blooming Prairie senior Tricia DeBoer injected some life in the Awesome Blossoms with some simple hustle and in the end her team walked away with a 4-2 win over Southland because of it.

With BP leading 2-1 in the top of the sixth, DeBoer stretched an infield single all the way to third base when she turned and took second right as the Rebels were throwing back to their pitcher and DeBoer kept running and took third before Southland could even set up for the next pitch.

Southland's Hilary Bottema lays down a bunt against Blooming Prairie Tuesday afternoon in Rose Creek. -- Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

“I just took advantage of what they gave me,” said DeBoer, who finished three-for-three. “I always try to see everything and I went for it.”

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DeBoer scored when Jenna Krell smacked a two-out triple to deep right field and Krell scored to make it 4-1 on a double-steal when Julia Manges walked and stole second.

BP (2-0 overall) struggled out of the gates as it finished with just six hits against Southland sophomore pitcher Haley Kiefer.

“I’m looking for consistency on offense and defense,” BP head coach Ali Mach said. “We faced a very dominant pitcher in our first game and this pitcher had a little different style and I think that was a struggle for us.”

While the Blossoms offense struggled to get going, their junior pitcher Shelbi Swenson held the Rebels (0-2 overall) in check as she struck out 11 and allowed just one earned run in seven innings.

Blooming Prairie pitcher Shelbi Swenson delivers against Southland in Rose Creek Tuesday. -- Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Swenson did walk six, but she wasn’t about to blame the cold, even though temperatures dipped in the low 40s with high wind gusts.

“I stayed pretty warm actually, the cold is just something you have to deal with in the spring,” Swenson said. “I was just glad to be in the (pitching) circle again.”

Mach said Swenson is coming along just fine in her first year as a full-time pitcher.

“Shelbi has the ability to do a lot of things as a pitcher and one of the things she’s going to have to figure out is when to take control and fire that ball in there,” Mach said.

Southland threatened in the bottom of the sixth as Celina Yunker scored on a groundout by Megan Mullenbach, but Brooke Yunker was caught in a rundown at third and tagged out by a diving Hunter Henderson, who is BP’s catcher, for the second out of the inning.

Brooke Yunker had a hit, two walks and two steals on the day, so Southland head coach Greg Schulte wasn’t upset with her getting caught off the bag.

“I was very pleased that she was trying to be aggressive,” Schulte said. “It didn’t help at that point but I like that she was trying things and being aggressive. I’m not discouraging that at all.”

Southland scored the first run of the game when Brooke Yunker scored on a Haley Kirkpatrick groundout in the second inning and BP tied things up when DeBoer scored on a wild pitch in the top of the third. Savanah Allard gave the Awesome Blossoms a 2-1 lead when she knocked an RBI-single up the middle with one out in the fourth.

Just two games into the season, BP’s offense is yet to score more than five runs, but DeBoer feels that outburst could be right around the corner.

“I think we’ll get it going. It’s only the first couple of games,” DeBoer said.

BP 0 0 1 1 0 2 0 — 4 6 1

Southland 0 1 0 0 0 1 X — 2 3 5

BP pitching: Shelbi Swenson (W), 7 IP, 3 H, 6 BB, 2 R, 1 ER, 11 K

BP hitting: Tricia DeBoer, 3-for-3, 2 R, BB, SB; Jenna Krell, 1-for-3, triple, RBI, R, BB, SB; Hunter Henderson, 1-for-4, double; Swenson, 0-for-4; Sam Ivers, 0-for-3, R, BB, SB; Madison Worke, 0-for-3; Savanah Allard, 1-for-2, RBI; Tessa Ivers, 0-for-3; Kelsey Kubista, 0-for-1

Southland pitching: Haley Kiefer (L), 7 IP, 6 H, 4 BB, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 K

Southland hitting: Kiefer, 0-for-2, 2 BBs, SB; Lindsey Bottema, 1-for-2, BB, SB; Kelli Smith, 0-for-3; Celina Yunker, 1-for-3, R; Brooke Yunker, 1-for-1, R, 2 SB, 2 BBs; Megan Mullenbach, 0-for-2, RBI, BB; Hilary Bottema, 0-for-3; Haley Kirkpatrick, 0-for-3, RBI; Shelby Vlasaty, 0-for-1; Karla Sifuentes, 0-for-2