Lakewood Ranch Rodeo captured the 2022 Florida Gulf Coast League with a 7-0 victory over the Manatee Squeeze. The Rodeo were powered by three-run first and fourth innings to earn the title in their first year in the league.
Claire Davidson (Duke) cracked a three-run homer in the fourth to double Lakewood Ranch's lead. She finished the day 3-for-3 with a double, home run and four RBI, while also tossing 4.2 innings of shutout relief (H, 4 K, 0 BB).
Prior to the postseason tournament, the league held their All-Star and Home Run Derby festivities and presented end-of-season awards.
Davidson was named the league’s Most Valuable Player. A two-way player during the summer, Davidson’s recorded a .429 batting average, 12 RBI, and a 1.189 OPS. In the circle, she allowed just two runs in 37.2 innings of work, with a 4-1 record and 35 strikeouts to her credit. Davidson was also selected to the league All-Star team as a pitcher.
Squeeze's Lauren Esman, who transferred to Alabama this summer, was named the FGCL’s Pitcher of the Year. She posted a perfect 10-0 record on the summer, with 50 strikeouts, a 10/1 strikeout/walk ratio, and a 0.98 ERA to her credit.
Manatee Squeeze coach Taylor Burt, was named the league’s Coach of the Year. Burt, who is the head coach at Hewitt-Trussville High School (Ala.), led the Squeeze to a 19-2 record, good enough for a .905 winning percentage and the Sun Division title.
Quincee Lilio (Oklahoma) was named the league’s Offensive Player of the Year. She batted .520 with four home runs, 15 RBIs, 14 runs scored, and a 1.479 OPS.
Additional award winners included Breakthrough Athlete of the Year D’Aun Riggs (Florida State); People’s Choice Award winner Allie Light (San Diego State); and Humanitarian Award winner Mackenzie Smith (Winthrop).
Bradenton Lynx and Ohio State hitter Reagan Milliken was crowned as the league’s Home Run Champion, launching seven home runs on the summer.
Now in its third summer of existence, the FGCL boasted twelve total teams during the 2022 summer season.
Award information courtesy of Justin McLeod (Extra Inning Softball)