UIL STATE SOFTBALL: Lake Creek completes perfect season, claims first-ever 5A State Championship
AUSTIN – Perfection is something that takes the right ingredients.
Hard work. Dedication. Motivation and ultimately buy in is what it takes for a team to piece together a perfect season.
For Lake Creek, their buy-in spanned from a cold Monday in February to a hot Texas summer Saturday afternoon in June. Through 41 games and 291 innings, the Lions roared to outscore their opponents 337-33.
In the end, it was their 19th shutout of the season on that June afternoon at Red & Charline McCombs Field at the University of Texas that solidified their place in history.
Lake Creek defeated Georgetown 7-0 on Saturday to claim its 41st victory of the season and the 2022 Class 5A State Softball Championship.
“I think a perfect season is something no one ever thinks about, no one ever knows if that’s going to come out of whatever you’re putting out there,” junior Ava Brown said. “That in itself is amazing. Being a State Champion, anybody has that ability no matter how many games you win or how many games you lose. You can always become a State Champion if you have the right mindset, and we all did.”
Maddie McKee added: “It means a lot; all these girls love the game so much and seeing it payoff is the best thing you can ever see.”
!!PERFECTION!! @LakeCreek_SB defeats Georgetown 7-0 to claim the 2022 Class 5A State Championship and finish the year a PERFECT 41-0! #UILState@avajbrownn@mmaddiemmckee@KPRC2RandyMc@MaxPreps@kalee_rochinski@coachrochinski@MontgomeryISD@LakeCreekHS@KPRC2@HTownHSSpic.twitter.com/EEfq8DYkr1
— VYPE Houston (@vypehouston) June 4, 2022
Lake Creek finished the year 41-0 overall and claimed the program’s first-ever State Championship in just its third full season of varsity play.
“We practiced 24/7, we worked hard 24/7, we had the drive,” junior Kalee Rochinski said. “We were ready to go.”
The Lions cashed in on early errors by Georgetown in the early innings, pushing across four runs to take a 4-0 lead after the third inning. Shelby Winn singled in a run in the fifth, followed by Brown's two-run double in the seventh to make it 7-0.
Brown was lights out in the circle. The junior allowed no runs on one hit with eight strikeouts and zero walks. Brown finishes the 2022 season with 335 strikeouts and just 12 earned runs allowed in 183 1/3 innings.
“I love Ava Brown,” Rochinski, who caught for her all year, said. “I love catching her. I love her drive. We have that pitcher-catcher connection that is unreal. It feels like sometimes we can read each other’s minds.”
For Kalee and her mother Michelle, who serves as Lake Creek's head coach, Saturday was a special family moment.
In 2012, when Michelle was at Montgomery, she led the Bears to the Class 4A State Championship game. At the time Kalee was just seven years old.
That weekend, the Rochinski's left with a silver medal after falling 9-8 to Spring Branch Smithson Valley. This weekend, it's all gold.
“We did it, we did it,” Michelle said as she got emotional holding back tears. “We’ve dreamed of this. Ten years ago, I was on this field with Montgomery and she was seven years old. I got home and I told her one day this could be her. Ten years later it is her and we have the gold medal.”
Kalee added: “It is very special. Being a seven-year-old and being in the dugout with her when they came here in 2012. Now, being on the field playing for her, it’s amazing. I couldn’t ask for more.”
As Lake Creek celebrated with a strong showing of community support cheering them on, Brown pulled on her medal a few times. The gold medal now draped around her neck was for more than just her.
“This one’s for my team,” Brown said. “I play for my team, and I give my best for them. These girls they mean everything to me. Being able to not only to do this for them but for Montgomery County and all the little girls up in the stands watching us, that’s what it is all about.”
Lake Creek's Payton Bauer is hit by a pitch, Caelee Clark scores (Lake Creek 1-0)
Lake Creek's Carmen Uribe scores on a wild pitch (Lake Creek 2-0)
Lake Creek's Caelee Clark and Madelyn Lopez score on throwing error (Lake Creek 4-0)
Lake Creek's Shelby Winn drives in Madelyn Lopez (Lake Creek 5-0)
Lake Creek's Ava Brown doubled to right field to drive in two runs. (Lake Creek 7-0)