LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Madi LoCastro is getting known as a player who has her biggest moments in the biggest games.
The Lakewood Ranch sophomore added much more to her reputation when she slugged two homers, scored four runs and reached base on all four at-bats Tuesday night to spark the host Mustangs to a 10-6 victory over archrival Braden River.
"I had a good feeling that against this pitching she would find one that she liked and be able to drive it out and sure enough she did," Lakewood Ranch head softball coach Maggie Feix said.
Braden River came into the game undefeated with 13 victories and seemed in control leading 5-2 in the bottom of the fourth.
The Mustangs (15-3) got a run in the bottom of the fourth and exploded for six runs in the fifth, which was jump-started by LoCastro's two-run homer that tied the game at five apiece.
Lakewood Ranch added four more runs with Kinsey Goelz driving in two with a single. Nicole Newton had an RBI single and the Mustangs took advantage of a Braden River error.
LoCastro hit a solo homer in the sixth. In her other two at-bats she reached
on a walk and was hit by a pitch.
"It was the first time I ever hit two homers in a game in high school," LoCastro said. "It helped us get going and this was a big game for us. We are not in the same district, but we are still big rivals. When you are a hitter you kind of can tell (if it's going out) when you swing."
As it turned out, LoCastro's last homer might have been big. Braden River trailed 10-6 in the top of the seventh and had the bases loaded before Kailey Christian got the last two batters to end the game.
Braden River took a 5-2 lead in the top of the fourth on Myrah Moy's two-run homer.
Pirates starter Ali Yawn was the victim of some bad luck in the Lakewood Ranch fifth when the Mustangs got two infield singles on balls hit off her glove.
"The fifth inning killed us, but I learned a lot about our team tonight. Loading the bases with one out (in the seventh) proves to me that we are always going to fight to the end," Braden River head coach Melissa Dowling said. "We made a mistake to LoCastro and they scored all their runs with two outs. They are great team all around, play good defense and hit the ball well and are selectively aggressive. We've got to make the plays and we didn't."
Braden River scored two runs in the first on RBI doubles from Bethany Keen and Sarah Crawford. Brooke Farrow drove in a run in third.
The Pirates rallied in the last inning thanks to a walk, a double by Crawford and a run-scoring single by Zaire Yancy with one out that loaded the bases. Braden River banged out 11 hits, but Christian did enough to secure the win.
"As a unit offensively we were able to do whatever it takes to make the play and do our job," Feix said. "This is a rivalry. It's straight down Road 70 and it's a battle of the area so it's always a big game. It means a lot for our team to be able to come together and string all those runs together and be effective. I am very proud of them."
Keen also reached base four times via a double, a single and two walks and Linda Ross had two hits for the Pirates.
Denali Shoppacher had three hits and a walk for Lakewood Ranch.
Alan Dell, Herald sports columnist/writer, can be reached at 941-745-7056. Follow him on Twitter @ADellSports.