Pitching and defense was the name of the game in diamond action around the region Wednesday. That included a no-hitter for Owatonna Aces pitcher Brandon Wolf, a one-hitter thrown by Blooming Prairie softball pitcher Riauna Bishop and a shutout tossed by NRHEG softball pitcher Sophie Stork. Meanwhile, Blooming Prairie baseball won their playoff opener in come-from-behind fashion.

Wolf threw his first career no-hitter in 19 years of amateur baseball in the Aces' 8-1 season-opening victory over Eagle Lake at Fuller Field at Dartt's Park Wednesday. Wolf said, "It takes a team to complete a game like that! Thank you guys for one heck of a memory!" on his Twitter account. Owatonna entertains Janesville Friday, May 24 at 7:30 pm at Fuller Field.

Blooming Prairie's softball team earned its second straight one-run win with a 2-1 upset victory over No. 2 seed Hayfield Wednesday. Bishop pitched a one-hitter, going the full seven innings and striking out seven. The run allowed was unearned. Bobbie Bruns went 2-for-3 with a double and both RBI's. The Awesome Blossoms face top-seed in the subsection Waterville-Elysian-Morristown Thursday at 5 pm at Todd Park in Austin.

Stork led the Panthers past Blue Earth Area 4-0 Wednesday in their playoff opener. She struck out five and gave up five hits. Coach Wendy Schultz commented on the defensive effort by NRHEG, "The girls played great defense tonight. Alexis Anderson made four good catches in the outfield. Paige Knudson also made some good plays at shortstop."

"Sophie pitched well again tonight. Our top three batters had some well-placed bunts to help us score three runs in the first inning." NRHEG hosts Cannon Falls Thursday in the quarterfinal round of Section 2AA.

Blooming Prairie rallied from an early deficit to top Bethlehem Academy 10-5 in their first playoff game Wednesday. Coach Matt Kittelson stated, "The boys didn't panic to get down after BA scored three right away." BP answered with two in the bottom of the first, which Kittelson called, "a big confidence builder for us."

"Even bigger was the second inning after we gave up two more in the top half, to come out and score eight including a Trent Swenson grand slam really showed the resilience of our kids."

Alex Miller drove in three runs. Colin Lerum had two doubles and two RBI's. Ian Wayne and Payton Simon handled the pitching in the 10-5 victory. BP will play top-seed Hayfield at 10 am Saturday, May 25 at Riverland Community College in Austin.


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