Cassidy McLellan- Mustangs Ahead
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- The LRHS Mustangs are the 7A Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) softball state champions.
They defeated Palm Beach Park Vista High School 14-4 Saturday to claim the title.
LRHS sophomore Cassidy McLellan led off the bottom of the first inning with a single and junior Ella Coiner had a run batted in (RBI) giving the Mustangs a 1-0 lead.
Coiner said, “I feel like I can fly. I felt like nothing could stop me from throwing strikes, no matter how loud the opposing team was.”
Junior Grace Hogie and senior Jillian Herbst both had RBIs, stretching the lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the second inning.
Sophomore Amanda Lee and sophomore Addyson Bruneman each slugged an RBI, increasing the score to 6-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Junior Taylor Shephard, Vogel and Herbst came through with productive at-bats improving the score to 11-4.
McLellan walked it off with a base clearing triple to end the game 14-4.
To advance to the final game, the girls defeated Miami Palmetto 17-2, Friday in the semifinals.
McLellan gave the Mustangs and early 1-0 lead with a solo home run to lead off the top of the first inning. Later in the inning junior Kelsey Vogel, and Bruneman each batted in a run, making the score 5-0.
Bruneman said, “It was fun. It was awesome to see all our hard work pay off in the end.”
After another solo home run by McLellan, an RBI double from Coiner increased the score to 7-2.
Another RBI by Vogel scored more runs in the top of the fourth inning, making the score 10-2. After more productive at-bats by the team, the score stretched to 17-2 and three more outs on defense ended the game in the fourth inning.
Vogel said, “It really just boosted everyone’s confidence. We all feel how real this is and we can all do this.”
Varsity Head Coach, TJ Goelz said, “Starting way back in October, we talked about playing Park Vista in this game. It’s kind of poetic that it happened.
“This feels amazing. I just always felt like we were going to do this.”