Lakewood Ranch’s quest for a state softball title falls short against Oakleaf
VERO BEACH – The Lakewood Ranch Mustangs, the #2 team in State 8A, were taking on Oakleaf, the #1 team in State 8A in the State Semifinals. The Mustangs beat Oakleaf earlier this season to take over the #1 ranking for a few weeks. Wednesday, it all came down to a win-or-go-home game.
The Knights lead-off batter in the bottom of the 1st inning singled, and then came all the way around later to score on a squeeze bunt. It would prove to be an insurmountable lead.
While the Mustangs had several chances in different innings with runners in scoring position, or multiple runners on, but Oakleaf pitcher Madi Davis was always able to bear down and get the important outs when she needed them.
After that 1st inning run, Lakewood Ranch starter Peyton Kinney settled down and never allowed another, but with 2 on and 2 out in the top of the 7th inning, Davis was able to get that final out, sending the Knights to the title game, and ending the Mustangs wonderful season.
“We knew it was going to be tough. This is a team we have played, and we knew that we had to take advantage of every break”, said Mustangs head coach TJ Goelz after the game. “This team should be proud of themselves. It was our first trip to states(this group), and we will be better for the experience next year. Timing is everything, and if we had that one timely hit, its a different game.”
The Mustangs finish their season 24-5. In Vero Beach’s Historic Dodgertown, I’m Don Brennan for SNN Sports.
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