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Nathan Rohmann

Nathan Rohmann

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Lady Laker Queen of the Hot Corner -- Maria Bloemer

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Maria Bloemer (Maria Dust in her seasons at Lake Land College) paid a visit to Laker Softball Field recently during a Region 24 double-header.

Bloemer played third base for Laker Softball for a couple seasons, 2008-09 and 2009-10, and is considered by a current Lake Land sportscaster to be the Lady Laker Queen of the Hot Corner. The opinion covers nearly a decade of calling Laker Softball games on radio.

Those who ever saw Bloemer play third base would most likely agree with the cliched "cat-like reflexes" when it came to describing her defensive skills.

Bloemer would sometimes play extremely shallow, so much so that a lot of the hitters would look quite intimidated. Whether shallow or standard depth, as far third base defense goes, Bloemer set the bar high for her softball peers.

Over her two seasons at the hot corner, Bloemer, dealt with 211 chances, recorded 87 putouts and 124 assists while committing a paltry 13 errors (not many for a JUCO softball left-side infielder).

Bloemer's Lake Land career fielding percentage came in at .946.

Bloemer was no slouch at the plate, either, with a JUCO career batting average of .329, her OBP at .403, and her Slugging Percentage (a stat not kept by the NJCAA at the time) at .514. Bloemer's 246 at-bats prove the worth of the aforementioned averages.

The young lady from Dieterich combined hitting for average with a bit of power, too, tallying 17 doubles, 3 triples, and 7 home runs, and brought home 57 teammates via the RBI.

In fact, all of Bloemer's numbers show as legit when considering she played in nearly a hundred games over two seasons, the actual total at 96.

Sportscaster Chet Novak on Bloemer:
Maria had a hand -- a glove hand -- in selling me on calling college softball. Initially I was in it for the baseball side, but after taking advantage of a rare chance to shoot some sports images, I experienced how dedicated the Laker Softball players were, and then I witnessed Maria creeping in from third to the plate, closer, and closer, and I thought, "Oh hell no, she's not gonna plant herself right there," and three pitches later, she was still planted, and I'm thinking, "Holy crap, this is intense. Sign me up! I gotta call this team on radio."

But Maria, though. Fearless, her close proximity, snap reactions that would make an NHL goalie jealous. I envision a nightmare where someone is smoking line drives at me from 15 feet away, and though I'm clad in hockey leg pads, outfitted with a glove and blocker, a catcher's mask over a goalie mask, and wearing swat team Kevlar, my eyelids clamp down as I shriek, until I hear that searing projectile thwack leather, and I open my eyes and see an outstretched arm on the backhand side, a puff of dust surrounding the mitt, and then Maria smiling back at me and whispering: "Don't worry, dude, I gotcha covered."

And Maria's intimidation of a batter rivaled that of the pitcher. Lefties, righties, slappers, whatever. Let's put it this way, the only one crowding the plate more then the batter was Maria, and that's while she was playing third base!

Maria Bloemer still resides in the area and works for the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Maria Bloemer (l.), with the 2017-18 Lady Lakers

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