The Detroit Lakes softball team (17-6) will play No. 2 Northfield (18-3) in the first round of the Class AAA state tournament Thursday, June 6, at 11 a.m. at Caswell Park, Field 3 in North Mankato.
Both the Lakers (8AA) and Raiders (1AA) captured their first section titles and will be battling for a first state tournament victory in their state debuts.
“It’s calmed down a bit but it doesn’t feel real yet,” Laura Prussia said. “Obviously, they have a lot of good things going on there, but so do we,”
Northfield defeated Winona in back-to-back games 2-0 and 5-1 to claim the Section 1AA title.
Both teams used one starting pitcher to advance. The Raiders took out Red Wing and Winona with defense and pitching.
Raider sophomore pitcher Brynn Hostettler pitched three complete game victories, allowing only one run for a 22-1 differential. Hostettler has allowed only two runs in the last seven games.
Laker senior Madilyn Kirchner pitched four complete game victories to get the Lakers to state and the DL offense outscored their opponents 44-20 in that stretch.
The Lakers hope to continue that ratio at state.
“We want to be aggressive with our swings and just do what we’re best at, not thinking too much,” Prussia said.
Both teams are 8-2 in the last 10 games. Of Northfield’s 18 wins, a dozen have been shutouts.
The Lakers average 9.1 runs per game and allow 5.9. The Raiders score 6.6 rpg and have allowed a stingy 1.2 rpg to opponents.
Laker head coach Phil Kirchner was named the Section 8AAA coach of the year.
Four Lakers were named to the all-section team:
Laura Prussia (11-14, .786, 3 HR, 9 RBI);
Madilyn Kirchner (9-12, .750, 4-0, 26K, 26 ip);
Matteya Borah (9-16, .563)
Mercedez Bellanger (7-16, .438, 2 HR, 7 RBI)
In the Mid-State, Madilyn Kirchner, Borah, Bellanger and Autumn Kulik were named to the all-conference team. Honorable mention went to Prussia.
Section 8AAA season awards
Detroit Lakes: Laura Prussia, Madilyn Kirchner, Matteya Borah, Mercedez Bellanger
Bemidji: Evette Morgan, Gracie Fischer, Annika Takkunen
Sartell: Riley Trobec, Marissa Martins, Cassidy Sarff
Alexandria: Taylor Sayers, Ally Albers
Sauk Rapids: Stacey Meyers
Little Falls: Sadie Sue-Houdek
Fergus Falls: Amzie Aho
Section 8AAA Coach of the year: Phil Kirchner