There is quite a battle going on locally. Despite their lofty status, the Pirates (20-2) are behind Sarasota High (22-2), which is fourth in the state and 13th nationally.
MaxPreps has Lakewood Ranch (18-4) ranked 12th in the state and 78th nationally. Engelwood Lemon Bay, which is undefeated in 19 games, is seventh in the state and 26th in the country.
What separates Braden River and Sarasota is a 1-0 loss to the Sailors in the second game of the season. Still, the Pirates (other loss 2-0 to Bartow) have one of the best 1-2 pitching punches in the state with sophomores Courtney Mirabella and Hannah Loyer. Mirabella has more than 200 strikeouts and has a perfect game to her credit this season.
Lakewood Ranch also has a tough pitching combo in veteran senior Brittany Kilduff and junior Hunter Elling. The Manatee-Sarasota County area is loaded with great young arms. Sarasota features Sam Messer and Lemon Bay has Brooke Carver.