The Cooper City softball team returned to the same field where it lost a heartbreaker in a Class 8A state semifinal last year.
Field No. 10 was unkind to the Cowboys for the second consecutive year falling to Lakewood Ranch 12-2 in an 8A state semifinal at the Jackie Robinson Training Center on Thursday.
The Mustangs (30-0), ranked No. 2 in the nation by MaxPreps, will play Winter Springs (30-0) for the state championship on Friday at 5:35 p.m.
Lakewood Ranch pounded out 12 hits and used a six-run fourth inning for the victory. It was also the third time this season that Cooper City yielded 10 or more runs in a game.
“They’re legit for sure,” said Cooper City coach Phil Schmalz. “They are really good team and are loaded. They are tough one through nine and seem to have everything going for them.”
Though Cooper City was within striking distance despite being down 3-0 after the first inning, giving up six more runs in the fourth spelled the end of another solid season for the Cowboys (19-7-1).
Managing only six hits against a powerhouse team like Lakewood Ranch won’t get it done.
“We had some struggles on the mound today,” Schmalz said. “The execution just wasn’t there for us and unfortunately that bit us. Once we got down by a considerable amount it was pretty hard to come back.”
The Mustangs pitching of Claire Davidson and Peyton Kinney combined for the six-hitter, while striking out 11.
The Cowboys got runs in the second and fifth innings on RBI from Brenna Lokeinsky and Jasmin Herrera
“I felt like we were competing with them,” Schmalz said. “We gave up too many walks. That hurts when you give too many free passes away.”
Amanda Gettys and Bianca Polistina four of the Cowboys’ hits on the night.