SPLENDORA — Splendora already boasted an impressive softball senior class with five players signing with colleges back in the fall. But on Wednesday afternoon, the Ladykats added one more player to that list.
Mackenzie Lakey, an outfielder for the team, signed with Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, during a special ceremony in the school gymnasium, surrounded by family, friends and coaches.
“It means a lot because I’ve worked so hard over the years, and my parents helped me to get to this point in my life to keep playing,” said Lakey, who plans to go into nursing. “It’s always been a dream of mine to play college ball.
“Navarro has a really good softball program, and the coaches are great there. It’s just an awesome softball program.”
Lakey earned honorable mention in District 21-4A last season while helping Splendora capture the outright league title under coach Deanna Eubanks. She and the Ladycats then went on a deep playoff run to the Region III-4A semifinals.
Lakey joins teammates Caleigh Millican (Baylor), Gracie Bumpurs (UT-Arlington), Shaelyn Sanders (Blinn), Kaicey Hagler (Houston Baptist) Keeley Wright (Southern Miss) as college-bound softball players for Splendora.
“It’s amazing,” Lakey said. “We have a lot of talent this year, and we’re hoping to go far this year as well. ... I’ve made a lot of friends here (at Splendora), the coaches are great, and they’ve helped me a lot in softball as well.”
Baker signs with Angelina College
Lakey wasn’t the only athlete who signed on Wednesday at Splendora. Earlier that morning, baseball player Blake Baker signed with Angelina College in Lufkin, Texas, during a separate ceremony.
Baker, an outfielder and pitcher for the Wildcats, said playing at the college level has been a goal of his for a long time.
“It means that all my hard work paid off over the years,” said Baker, who was a second-team All-District 21-4A selection as following his junior season. “I’m mainly just excited to play another year. It’s my game, it’s what I do, and I love it.”
Baker, who helped Splendora make the playoffs for the first time three years under coach Chase Reneau, cited a couple of key reasons why he chose to join the Roadrunners program.
“It’s just close to home, and I can just come home if I need to if anything happens. It’s only an hour and a half away,” he said. “The coach (Jeff Livin) is just a really cool guy, just fun to be around. And I like their facilities — they’re pretty cool.”