Blossoms win third straight subsection title

Published 4:57 pm Saturday, May 26, 2012

Blooming Prairie's Tessa Ivers lays down a bunt in the third inning against Hayfield in the Subsection1A West Division semifinal game Saturday at Todd Park. - Eric Johnson/

They took their time, but once the Awesome Blossoms got their bats going, it was inevitable that they were going to clinch their third straight Subsection 1A West Division softball title at Todd Park Saturday.

Top-seeded Blooming Prairie used six hits to score seven runs in the fifth inning of an 11-2 win over No. 2 Kenyon-Wanamingo (11-11 overall).

BP junior Jenna Krell slammed a three-run triple to the right field wall to make it 10-1.

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“It took us awhile to adjust to her,” said Krell, who went 2-for-3 with 4 RBIs and had the game winning hit in a 2-0 win over Hayfield in subsection semifinals. “ Once we did that, we really got going. (That triple) felt good. I wasn’t really thinking about it, but it happened and it felt good.”

The Blossoms (17-3 overall) racked up 11 hits against K-W after mustering just four hits against No. 4 seeded Hayfield. BP catcher Hunter Henderson, who went 2-for-4 with a double against KW, said the Blossoms had trouble adjusting to the speed of the pitching in the first game.

“The (KW) pitcher was more our speed and I think it’s funny with the score difference between the two games,” Henderson said. “We’ve got some girls who hit fast pitching better and hopefully that will help us in the next round.”

BP pitcher Shelbi Swenson allowed two hits, a walk and a run in the first inning, but she took over from that point, as she struck out 12.

BP also made life difficult for KW by stealing four bases as the Blossoms were aggressive on the basepaths all day.

“We were much more loose in the second game,” BP head coach Ali Mach said. “We played our style of softball and got the running game going and now we’re sitting in a good position.”

BP will now advance to the Section 1A semifinal, where they will play Chatfield or Lewiston-Altura Tuesday at 5 p.m. LA is ranked No. 4 in Class ‘A.’

“I think rankings are overrated,” Henderson said. “I’m not really worried and I think Shelbi will pitch well and we’re all going to hit well. We’ll be all right.”

While BP has been to the Class ‘A’ state tournament the past two seasons, Krell said she didn’t want to overlook the importance of a third straight subsection title.

“I think this definitely something to be celebrated,” she said. “But it’s just the beginning and we can go further.”

Hayfield's Meg Tapp reaches out to snag a wide throw during their Subsection 1A West Division semifinal game with Blooming Prairie Saturday morning at Todd Park. - Eric Johnson/

Blossoms beat Vikings in semifinals

The Hayfield softball team did all it could to knock off the No. 1 seeded Awesome Blossoms (17-3 overall), but BP pitcher Shelbi Swenson was just too much as she retired 21 straight Vikings to end the game in a 2-0 BP win.

Swenson walked Dani Wagner and allowed a single to Abby Blanchard to start the game, but she was perfect from that point on.

“She pitched a good game,” said Hayfield sophomore Dani Wagner of Swenson. “She moved it around and changed it around a lot. We couldn’t pick up on it.”

Swenson struck out six in the win in a game that was scoreless until the sixth inning when BP’s Jenna Krell knocked in two runs with a single to left.

“We realized that we had to settle in and trust our hitting,” said Krell. “We knew we could hit her and we had to get some runs.”

Hayfield’s Bridget Monahan escaped further damage as she forced Kelsey Kubista to groundout and struck out Sam Ivers with the bases loaded.

Monahan allowed just four hits to a tough-hitting BP squad.

“She threw very well and I could tell they were getting very frustrated,” Hayfield head coach Jana Wagner said. “If we only we would’ve scored in that first inning.”

While BP’s offense struggled early on, their head coach Ali Mach was never too worried.

“I knew if we played our game we would be fine, but we struggled,” Mach said. “I didn’t expect that, but we were able to score runs when we needed to and the way Shelbi was pitching, she had it pretty much shut down.”

Hayfield’s Dani Wagner had a solid season this year as she hit over .600 and had seven homers. She will play for the Mankato Peppers, a team that travels the country, this summer.

“I really hit well this year, which was good. Too bad I I didn’t do it in this game,” Dani Wagner said.

Hayfield finishes the season as 10-12 overall.

KW 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 — 2 8 4

BP 3 0 0 0 7 1 X — 11 13 1

BP pitching: Shelbi Swenson (W), 7 IP, 8 H, 2 BB, 2 ER, 12 K

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

Hayfield 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 1 1

BP 0 0 0 0 0 2 X — 2 4 1

BP pitching: Shelbi Swenson (W), 7 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 0 R, 6 K

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

Hayfield pitching: Alyssa Monahan (L), 6 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 2 ER, 4 K

Hayfield hitting: Dani Wagner, 0-for-2, BB; Abby Blanchard, 1-for-3; Meg Tapp, 0-for-3; Hannah Wiltgen, 0-for-3; Jessie Foster, 0-for-3; Emily Blanchard, 0-for-3; Grace Walker, 0-for-2; Jaide Ryks, 0-for-2; Kailee Siemers, 0-for-2