The No. 3 Detroit Lakes softball team got off to hot starts both at the plate and inside the circle en route to a four-inning, mercy rule 15-0 blowout of No. 6 Fergus Falls in the first round of the Section 8AAA playoffs Tuesday, May 21 at Snappy Park.
Laker senior Madilyn Kirchner mowed down the side in the first inning and added a fourth straight strikeout to open the second while getting plenty of offense early.
Leadoff hitter Laura Prussia walked, took second on a wild pitch and stole third base to start a five-run threat.
Kirchner walked and stole second and both runners scored on a Mercedez Bellanger double. Bellanger advanced to third on a late throw.
Matteya Borah followed up with a successful bunt that scored Bellanger. Borah would score on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Sara Freeman and Dakota Moran polished off a 5-0 lead with a solo home run, the first of four Laker bombs.
The Otters got a free base off Kirchner in the second and put a runner in scoring position to no avail.
DL blew the game open with nine runs in the home half on a trio of three-run homers.
Bellanger connected for the first with Laken Weaver and Laura Prussia aboard to chase Fergus Falls’ seventh-grade starter Rylynn Krein.
Junior Maddy Shjerve took over pitching duties and was subjected to Freeman and Prussia leaving the yard with two runners on base finally getting out of the inning down 14-0.
The Lakers sent 12 batters to the plate; Freeman’s homer landed well over the fence in left-center and one-hopped into the Otter bus in the parking lot.
Moran knocked in Kulik with the final run in the bottom of the third.
Each DL starter recorded a hit and the Lakers had 15 in the game. Borah and Moran each had three hits. Prussia scored every time she picked up a bat. Bellanger had five RBI on a homer and a double.
Fergus Falls scratched out only one hit on a hard shot by Nycole Mouritsen past Borah at third base in the top of the third.
Fergus Falls lost for the sixth straight game and dropped to 5-16 overall. The Otters host No. 7 Little Falls (2-19) in the elimination bracket Thursday, May 23. The Flyers lost at No. 2 Bemidji 12-4.
Detroit Lakes (14-6) travels to No. 2 Bemidji (13-7) Thursday for a 4 p.m. second round contest.
No. 5 Alexandria (11-9) pulled the lone upset winning at No. 4 Sauk Rapids-Rice 7-2 and will face No. 1 Sartell-St. Stephen (15-5) in the other half of the championship bracket. The Sabres had a bye.
DL and Bemidji met once this season on a neutral field with the Jacks outgunning the Lakers 18-12.