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Lakers hit a valley, then peak with a win in Barnesville

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Detroit Lakes, 56501
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

There'll be days in the valleys when you're able to reach the peaks.

For Detroit Lakes pitcher Callea Butz, that day was Tuesday in Barnesville.

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In a summer season where Butz has been no less than spectacular and dominating, the DL incoming junior hurler struggled in a 10-2 loss to Hawley, but recovered nicely in the nightcap with a 10-5 victory over Barnesville.

"Callea struggled throwing strikes against Hawley and those games happen sometimes," said DL head coach Phil Kirchner. "We also couldn't get the clutch hits."

Butz' accuracy against Hawley was off, with 10 walks. The Nuggets also took advantage of two Laker errors, which eventually led to seven unearned runs -- four of which came in the first inning.

DL outhit Hawley by a 5-3 margin, but stranded 10 runners. Alice Branden practiced patience, drawing three walks, while first baseman Ashley Baer went 2-3 with an RBI triple in the fifth inning.

The Lakers not only rediscovered their bats against Barnesville, Butz regained her usual strikeout capability.

Branden lashed out for two hits, including three RBIs and a triple, while her sister Amalea Branden followed suit with a triple of her own.

Butz notched yet another double-digit strikeout game, going for a 5-to-12 walk-to-strikeout ratio in the tilt.

"She just started hitting her spots again and our bats came alive," Kirchner said.

Sarah Wilson went 2-2 with two runs scored, with Brittni Larson keeping a hot bat, as she nabbed two hits and an RBI.

DL opened the game up with a second-inning five-run rally, starting with Amalea Branden's triple.

Wilson followed with an RBI single, as Ali Olds drew a walk. The bases were loaded after Jessica Pudwill delivered a single. Alice Branden then railed a bases-clearing triple, and later scored on a Shayna Dugger fielder's choice RBI.

The Lakers, now 10-9, will open the playoffs Monday and Tuesday in Hawley as the third or fourth seed. Games start Monday at 9 a.m. and on Tuesday at 9 and 11 a.m.

"We proved this spring we can beat anyone in the playoffs," Kirchner said. "We can be as good as anyone in the playoffs if we can keep our pitching and defense solid and come up with some timely hits."

Hawley is undefeated on the season and will carry the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. The victor of the tournament will advance to the state tournament, which is July 26-27 in Minneapolis.

Laker stats

Detroit Lakes in Barnesville, Tuesday, July 8.

Lakers 100 01 - 2 5 2

Hawley 410 23 - 10 3 1

Detroit Lakes

AB R H Bi

A. Branden 0 1 0 0

S. Dugger 3 0 0 0

B. Larson 3 0 1 1

D. Dugger 3 0 1 0

S. Wilson 1 1 0 0

A. Baer 3 0 2 1

J. Even 2 0 0 0

J. Pudwill 2 0 0 0

C. Butz 3 0 1 0

Totals 20 2 5 2

3B: Baer.

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k): DL - C. Butz (LP) 5-3-10-3-10-2.

Lakers 152 020 0 - 10 9 1

Barnesville 101 020 1 - 5 3 0

Detroit Lakes

AB R H Bi

A. Branden 3 1 2 3

O. Hanson 1 0 1 2

S. Dugger 3 1 0 0

Larson 3 0 2 1

D. Dugger 2 0 0 0

S. Ianiro 2 0 0 0

Baer 4 0 0 0

Am. Branden 2 2 1 0

J. Johnson 0 0 0 0

Wilson 2 2 2 0

C. Goettel 1 1 0 0

A. Olds 0 1 0 0

A. Morben 1 0 0 0

Pudwill 2 2 1 0

Totals 26 10 9 6

3B: Am. Branden, A. Branden.

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k): DL - C. Butz (WP) 7-3-5-4-5-12.

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