The Out-of-Door Academy baseball team and the Lakewood Ranch High softball team both won state titles in 2021.
In 2022, both have a chance to repeat.
The Thunder defeated Seffner Christian 5-4 in nine innings at home May 17 to advance to the Florida High School Athletic Association Class 2A state tournament. Junior Jack Hobson hit two home runs and pitched the final three and 2/3 innings, allowing zero earned runs (one total run). Junior Luca Marino hit a walk-off single, scoring senior Logan Tribble from second base.
ODA (20-8) will play North Florida Christian (21-5) at 1 p.m. Monday at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers. If ODA wins, it will play either Miami Christian (27-3) or Foundation Academy (21-7-1) in the state championship game 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Lakewood Ranch softball defeated Newsome High 2-0 at home May 20 at advance to the FHSAA Class 7A state tournament. Sophomore Ella Dodge pitched a complete game shutout to pick up her 23rd win of the season, a program record. Dodge scattered five hits and struck out five batters. Junior Cassidy McLellan got the Mustangs on the scoreboard in the fifth inning with a single that scored Natalie Crestani from second base. Senior Taylor Shepherd added an RBI single in the sixth inning.
Lakewood Ranch (28-2) will play Western High (16-8-1) at 12:30 p.m. Friday at Legends Way Ball Fields in Clermont. If Lakewood Ranch wins, the Mustangs will play either Lake Brantley High (24-4) or Park Vista High (22-5) in the state championship game at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
Admission for each semifinal game is $9 if purchased via the GoFan app or $12 at the gate. Parking for both events is $10. For more information, visit the FHSAA website.
Ryan Kohn is the sports editor for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. He was born and raised in Olney, Maryland. His biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. His strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.