The Lakewood Ranch High softball team seems to have all the momentum heading into its Class 4A-District 10 championship game against Braden River on Friday night.
The host Mustangs are currently 7th in the all classification Max Prep state rankings and sporting a very impressive 22-3 record. Braden River is 18-7 and banged up with some injuries.
But when these two schools get together whatever the sport anything can happen.
The Mustangs have one of the best one-two punches in the state on the mound with Huntrye Elling (10-0) and Brittany Kilduff (12-3). Heading into the final week of the regular season, Elling had a 1.25 ERA and struck out 75 in 67.3 innings while Kilduff had whiffed 81 batters in 85 innings and compiled a 1.16 ERA.
Lakewood Ranch is no slouch with the bat either. The Mustangs have five players batting over .350 and two with a .400 plus batting average led by Dana Hutchins (.469) and Rachel Slowik (.443).
Corey Hanewich, the Stanford bound center fielder, leads the team in runs scored and triples and is like a vacuum in center field with her ability to track down balls and cover so much territory.
Braden River has been besieged with injuries and other health issues, but it has two pitchers in Courtney Mirabella and Hannah Loyer, who can stop just about anybody when they are right.
Mirabella is coming back from a bout with mononucleosis and is trying to regain the strength while Loyer has pitched extremely well lately.
Braden River's best chance to win is in a low scoring game so it will very likely be up to Mirabella and Loyer to keep Ranch's run production at a minimum.