State champion Lakota West softball team ranked No. 20 nationally by MaxPreps

The Lakota West softball team poses for a photo after winning the Division I state championship on Saturday, June 4, 2022, at Firestone Stadium in Akron. Photo courtesy of Lakota West

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The Lakota West softball team poses for a photo after winning the Division I state championship on Saturday, June 4, 2022, at Firestone Stadium in Akron. Photo courtesy of Lakota West

The state champion Lakota West High School softball team is ranked No. 20 nationally this week by MaxPreps.

The Firebirds are one of two Ohio teams ranked in the top 25 nationally by the national high school sports website. Wooster Triway (30-2), which won the Division II state title, is ranked No. 10.

Lakota West (28-4), ranked No. 18 nationally by USA Today last week, defeated Holland Springfield 9-2 in the Division I state final June 4 at Firestone Stadium in Akron.

The Firebirds, winners of 16 consecutive games, became the first Southwest District softball team to win a large-school division (Division I/Class AAA) state title since Hamilton in 1985.

Lakota West is the first Greater Cincinnati softball team to win an Ohio High School Athletic Association state title since Williamsburg won the Division IV state championship in 2017.

The team made their sixth Division I state softball tournament appearance in program history this spring. This was also their second state final appearance, with the Firebirds earning state runner-ups in 2018.

Coach Keith Castner said the team is gathering for a dinner at a nearby restaurant Tuesday night and he’s looking forward to sharing the national ranking update.

“The Lakota West softball family — we’re a family and we really help each other out,” Castner said after the state final. “Most importantly it’s about these girls. I really mean that. Because these are the girls that get up there and do every single play. I can’t thank them enough to give me the opportunity to coach them.”

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