Playoff run ends for Lakers -- DL softball loses in Section title game to No. 1 OTC
The genie was put back in the bottle for the Detroit Lakes softball team as their magical run through the Section 8-2A playoffs ended in the championship game with a 9-0 loss to No. 1 seeded Ottertail Central Thursday in Frazee.
The undefeated Knights registered win No. 23 with consistent defense and solid pitching, while taking advantage of three DL errors.
"You have to give OTC credit because they were aggressive on the base pads," said DL head coach Phil Kirchner. "When you are hustling and forcing teams to hurry their play, that leads to mistakes."
That was no more evident in a four-run second inning for the Knights when they were able to load the bases with no outs.
Two walks by Laker sophomore pitcher Callea Butz sandwiched a single by Jen Severs loaded the bases with no outs.
Butz struck out Cally Nelson, but Laura Trosdahl delivered a hit to score each of Kelsey Koep and Severs. Some aggressive base running forced the infield to hurry its throws, which eventually led to Abbey Evavold to score.
Another RBI single by Jacquie Haarstad put the score at 4-0.
"We were a little nervous coming into the game and when they started running on us, we made mistakes," Kirchner added.
Butz, who finished by tossing eight walks and seven strikeouts -- one of the rare games she had more walks that whiffs -- felt her accuracy wasn't on Thursday.
"I had too many walks," Butz said. "That put more pressure on the defense."
OTC added another run in the fourth, then put the game away with a three-run fifth. Severs added an RBI double in the sixth to push the score to 9-0.
The Lakers, who pelted out 42 hits in three playoff games Tuesday, couldn't get their sticks going, coming up with just four hits off of Knight pitcher Carley Nelson.
"We were able to hit a lot of balls hard, but right at them," Kirchner said. "But they made the plays they had to on defense, while we gave them too many second chances."
The Lakers advanced only three runners to third base and all three of those were with two outs on the board. Those picking up hits included Alice Branden, Janaye Johnson, Jennifer Wenner and Brittni Larson.
The Knights finished with seven hits, with each of Lindsay Nelson and Severs delivering two.
"OTC will represent our section well," Kirchner added. "They have a good team, with good pitching, defense and hitting. Hopefully our younger girls got a good taste of what it takes to win the section."
Butz agrees that playing to the section title game will be good inspiration for the underclass players.
"I'm going to work hard (over the offseason) to become more dominant and we just need to do more work in the offseason to get better," Butz included.
The Lakers finish the 2008 season with a winning record at 15-12.
Section 8-2A championship at Frazee, Thursday, May 29.
(1) Ottertail Central vs. (6) Detroit Lakes.
Lakers 000 000 0 - 0 4 3
Knights 040 131 x - 9 7 0
AB R H Bi
A. Branden 4 0 1 0
M. Braun 4 0 0 0
J. Johnson 4 0 1 0
J. Wenner 1 0 1 0
B. Larson 3 0 1 0
D. Dugger 2 0 0 0
K. Johnson 3 0 0 0
S. Wilson 2 0 0 0
J. Pudwill 2 0 0 0
Totals 25 0 4 0
AB R H Bi
C. Nelson 2 2 1 0
L. Nelson 4 0 2 0
T. Hagen 4 0 0 0
K. Koep 2 2 1 0
J. Severs 2 1 2 1
A. Evavold 2 1 1 0
Cal. Nelson 3 0 0 0
L. Trosdahl 3 2 0 2
J. Haarstad 2 1 0 1
Totals 24 9 7 4
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k): DL - C. Butz (LP) 6-7-9-8-8-7...OTC: C. Nelson (WP) 7-4-0-0-5-3.