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Brooke Olson raps a towering homerun over the centerfield fence against Bemidji for a three-run shot in the Lakers’ extra-inning victory. DL NEWSPAPERS/Brian Basham

Homers carry Lakers to 2-0 start to season

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Detroit Lakes sophomore Hailey Sonstegard ushered in the 2014 season in booming fashion, after she railed a walk-off three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to propel the Lakers to a hard-fought 12-11 victory over Bemidji Friday at Snappy Park.

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The season-opening victory featured some towering homeruns by Sonstegard and senior first baseman Brooke Olson, who’s fence buster also came in a three-run form.

“Coming into the season, I’ve been preaching to the girls to be aggressive at the plate and swing the bat,” said DL head coach Phil Kirchner. “I figured our big hitters in the middle of the lineup would be able to do what Brooke and Hailey did.”

The Lakers then used strong pitching in the final game of the triangular to beat Thief River Falls 6-2 in a shortened sixth-inning victory.

Junior Chaz Butz overcame a shaky first game, by striking out six and walking just one against the Prowlers to secure the win.

“It was unusual for Chaz to give up eight walks against Bemidji, but it was the first game of the season,” Kirchner said. “But she rebounded well with a strong game against Thief River Falls.”

Sophomore Kyra Vagle went the distance in the second inning, which produced three runs and give DL a commanding 4-1 lead.

“Kyra is a dual threat in that she can reach base by bunting, but also having power, as she showed against Thief River Falls,” Kirchner added.

The Lakers added two more runs in the third inning on an Emily Seebold RBI double and the sixth frame with leadoff hitter Carolyn Kinney picking up an RBI.

Butz pitched both full games and allowed four hits to TRF, with two of the three runs unearned on two of three Laker errors.

The Lakers’ 12-11 win over Bemidji was a back-and-forth affair, as Olson’s launch over the centerfield fence put DL up 4-1.

But Bemidji countered with a five-run fifth inning, with Monica Willme adding a two-run single and Sylvia Grimm a one-run single.

The Lakers answered with a five-run sixth, highlighted by a Vagle two-run gapper for a double, while Emily Schiltz delivered a one-run double. Kinney also picked up an RBI with a single.

But Bemidji tied the score at 9-9 with a run in the sixth on an RBI walk with bases loaded by Abby Hinrichs, with Willme adding a leadoff double in the top of the seventh and later score on an Annika Johnson single.

It looked as if Bemidji held the reins with two runs in the top of the extra inning, thanks to a one-run single by Jordyn Folliss, who later scored on a fielder’s choice.

But the Lakers started their big rally with Kinney lacing a one-out single, followed by a walk by Vagle.

That set up Sonstegard’s walk-off homer.

Vagle went 3-4 and scored three times, while Kinney was 2-5 and Olson 2-4 with four RBIs. Schiltz added two hits, as well.

“We did commit three errors in each of the games, so that’s one thing we will need to clean up,” Kirchner said. “But it’s a good start to the season.”

The Lakers will host Park Rapids in the Mid-State Conference opener Tuesday, April 22, in a doubleheader, starting at 4 p.m.

Bemidji and Thief River Falls at Detroit Lakes, Friday, April 11

Bem    011 051 12 – 11 10 2

DL       103 005 03 – 12 12 3

Detroit Lakes

                        AB    R      H      Bi

C. Kinney         5      2      2      1

K. Vagle            4      3      3      2

H. Sonstegard 2      2      1      3

L. Burnside       4      0      0      0

B. Olson           4      1      2      4

E. Seebold       3      1      0      0

E. Schiltz          4      1      2      1

M. Kirchner       4      1      1      0

R. Ianiro           4      1      1      0

Totals               34   12   12   11

HR: Olson, Sonstegard…2B: Schiltz

Bemidji

                        AB    R      H      Bi

M. Dahl            5      2      2      0

H. Olson           4      1      0      0

Ha. Olson         4      2      0      0

S. Grimm          4      1      2      2

J. Folliss           2      3      1      1

A. Hinrich          5      1      1      1

K. Clark            5      0      0      0

M. Willme         4      1      3      2

A. Johnson       4      0      1      1

Totals               37   11   10   7

2B: Willme

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k): DL – C. Butz (WP) 8-10-11-8-8-7

TRF    010 001 – 2  4  0

DL      131 001 – 6 12 3

Detroit Lakes

                        AB    R      H      Bi

Kinney              3      1      3      1

Vagle                4      1      1      3

Sonstegard      3      0      0      0

Burnside          3      0      1      1

Olson               3      0      0      0

Schiltz              3      1      2      0

Seebold           3      0      2      1

Kirchner            3      1      1      0

Ianiro               3      2      2      0

Totals               28   6      12   6

HR: Vagle…2B: Seebold

Thief River Falls

                        AB    R      H      Bi

H. Nelson         4      0      0      0

H. Kraemer       4      0      1      0

S. Okeson        2      0      0      1

M. Jones          2      0      0      0

T. Miles            2      0      0      0

B. Malwitz         3      0      0      0

A. Azure            2      0      1      0

M. Martell         3      0      1      0

M. Erickson      3      1      0      0

Totals               25   2      4      1

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k): DL – C. Butz (2-0, WP) 6-4-2-1-1-6

(Follow Brian Wierima on Twitter at DLSportsGuy.)

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Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN. 
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