The development of the Detroit Lakes softball program didn't end with its Section 8-2A first-round loss in the playoffs in May.
A host of new players are fine-tuning their softball skills during U-18, U-14 and U-12 summer league play.
There are no 2010 seniors out for the U-18 Laker team this year, allowing DL's youth to develop for the 2011 spring high school season.
League play got underway last week, as the Lakers split with Perham at Snappy Park Tuesday, June 8.
"This is almost an entirely new group of players," said DL head softball coach Phil Kirchner. "We don't have any seniors out, so we are young and there will be some growing pains of losing those seniors."
For the first time in four years, the Lakers had another starting pitcher on the mound besides all-time win leader Callea Butz.
Junior Haley Baer had the nod as DL's starter and also had the challenge of pitching from the new distance of 43 feet -- three feet further back from the normal distance, which will start during the 2011 season.
"It's a hitters' game now, with the (Minnesota State High School League) pushing back the pitching rubber three feet," Kirchner added.
Despite the new distance, Baer pitched well with few walks, but still lost the first game 10-8.
"We hit the ball well, though," Kirchner included.
In game two, DL summer resident Sasha Cook picked up the 7-4 victory with a solid game from the hill.
Cook, who will be a senior from Hawley, had good control of her pitches and kept the Yellowjacket hitters off-balanced.
Sophomore Kathryn Kinney went 2-2, while Cook also did damage at the plate by going 2-3 with a game-leading five RBIs.
The U-14 squad was swept by Perham, while the U-12 DL team went 2-0 in the Fergus Falls League, with a pair of wins of 20-2 and 11-6 over the Otters last Thursday.
Chaz Butz picked up the win in game one with a one-hitter, while Grace Swenson was the winning pitcher in game two.
The U-18 and U-14 DL teams will play Norman County in Gary Tuesday, June 22, starting at 4:30 p.m.
Laker Camp to be held June 22-24
The Laker Softball Camp for grades three through eight will be held at Snappy Park June 22-24.
The camps will be run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and a lunch and t-shirts will be provided.
The cost is $30 and to register, call Kirchner at 218-846-0613 or at 218-841-0157.