Deer Park, Lake Creek eye state softball championships
Deer Park and Lake Creek are the Greater Houston area’s two representatives at the Class 6A and Class 5A state softball tournament this weekend at McCombs Field in Austin.
Deer Park is seeking a second straight state title, while Lake Creek is looking for its first. Both teams are nationally ranked.
The Class 5A state championship game will be played Saturday at 4 p.m. The 6A title game will be Saturday at 7 p.m.
A preview of both teams going into this weekend’s semifinals.
Deer Park junior Julia Donnell celebrates with teammates after the Deer beat Pearland in their regional final last week.VYPE Media
Deer Park (40-4) vs. Lake Ridge (31-6)
Friday, 7 p.m.
Deer Park is ranked No. 5 nationally in MaxPreps’ Top 25. … It’s the sixth state tournament appearance for the Deer since 2012. They are seeking back-to-back state titles, and are looking for No. 4 overall (2012, 2014, 2021). … Deer Park is the only Greater Houston area softball program with three state championships. … Deer Park has plenty of dominant pitching in seniors Madison Applebe (17-3), a Central Florida signee, and Reanna Nieman (15-0). Junior Aubrey Graham provides a third dynamic arm. She is 7-1 this season. … Deer Park has eight players hitting .400 or better: senior Ashtyn Aldrete (.400), junior Kaitlyn Zaid (.400), Graham (.400), sophomore Kylie Wilson (.429), junior Angelina Morales (.509), senior Emma Overla (.509), senior Kayla Zaid (.525) and Nieman (.556). Kayla Zaid is a University of Houston signee. … Deer Park is averaging 8.3 runs per game and giving up just 1.6. … Lake Ridge is on a 15-game winning streak. … The Eagles are averaging 9.7 runs per game and giving up 2.5. … In the circle, the Eagles are led by freshman Avery Hoang (15-1). … Lake Ridge has seven players hitting .400 or better, led by junior centerfielder Tia Warsop’s .579 mark. She is an Oklahoma State commit. The others are junior Iyanna Callahan (.400), senior Maritza Arellano (.408), senior Maggie Miller (.417), senior Brooklyn Morris (.500), sophomore Kassidy Chance (.505) and junior Paris Johnson (.553).
Lake Creek's Maddie McKee (2) looks on during the Lions' regional quarterfinal playoff series against Waller earlier this season.VYPE Media
Lake Creek (39-0) vs. Prosper Rock Hill (33-9)
Friday, 10 a.m.
Lake Creek is ranked No. 2 nationally in MaxPreps’ Top 25. … Lake Creek High School opened in 2018. Four years later, the softball team is at state in just its third full varsity season (2020 was canceled due to COVID-19) after playing in the regional final last year. … The Lions are led by junior Ava Brown, a Florida commit. Brown is hitting .389 with 40 RBIs and 10 home runs and a .455 on-base percentage. She’s even more impressive in the circle, going 28-0 with a 0.5o ERA and 318 strikeouts to 22 walks. Opponents are hitting just. 106 against Brown. … Lake Creek has three players hitting .464 or better. Senior and Syracuse signee Madelyn Lopez is hitting .464 with 46 RBIs and four homers, sophomore Carmen Uribe is hitting .500 with 28 RBIs and a .531 on-base percentage, and junior and LSU commit Maddie McKee is hitting a team-best .534 with 47 RBIs and seven home runs. … Lake Creek is outscoring its playoff opponents, 72-13. … Rock Hill is in its second varsity season. … Senior Grace Berlage is the ace, going 19-2 with a 1.27 ERA and 171 strikeouts to 46 walks. Opponents are hitting .177 against her. … The Blue Hawks have two players hitting above. 400. Junior Veronica Cully is hitting a team-high .432 with 16 RBIs and freshman Ella Berlage is hitting .423 with 46 RBIs and a team-best five home runs.