Detroit Lakes softball players received conference and section awards at the team’s end of season banquet after the Lakers made a first-ever trip to the state tournament in early June.

The Lakers finished the season with an overall record of 17-8 in the final year under head coach Phil Kirchner, who is expected to move over to an assistant coaching position with the baseball program under head coach Terry Eiter beginning next season.

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Kirchner coached the softball team for 18 seasons. In the past decade, DL has had nine winning seasons with matching highs for wins in a campaign of 18 in both 2015-16 and 2016-17.

The Lakers had a tough road at state losing 10-0 to eventual Class AAA champions Northfield in the opening round and 13-4 to Mahtomedi in consolation play. Regardless, the trip was a big jump for the program to finally advance out of the Section 8AAA tournament.

The section will drop from seven to six teams for the 2019-20 season. Fergus Falls dropped down to Class AA.

Four Lakers were named to the all-section team including leading hitter and centerfielder Laura Prussia, senior first baseman Mercedez Bellanger, senior pitcher Madilyn Kirchner and senior third baseman Matteya Borah.

Only Prussia will be back next season in her senior year.

The same four were named to the Mid-State all-conference team along with sophomore shortstop Autumn Kulik.