As first seasons go, Lake Creek couldn’t have asked for much more in 2019.
The Lions went 19-7 overall, including a 13-3 mark in District 20-5A. After a second place finish in the district, Lake Creek fell in the first round of the postseason.
“It really was pretty awesome that we were able to be as successful as we were,” Lake Creek coach Michelle Rochinski said. “We had a goal to try to push further in the playoffs, however we fell short coming up against A&M Consolidated. We’re kind of just building from there.”
The building on top of a first successful year is unique for Montgomery ISD’s new high school. Last season was played without a senior class, so everybody who still wants to play softball is back in 2020. This led to offseason competition that Rochinski thinks has and will continue to benefit the team.
“All offseason, everybody had to compete with each other, and that’s one of the best things we’ve had this offseason,” she said. “Nobody had a for-sure spot anywhere. We keep talking about competing — not only competing with other teams, but competing with one another and pushing each other.”
Junior Emiley Kennedy, a Texas A&M commit, is the top returner for the Lions. As a sophomore, Kennedy shared District 20-5A Pitcher of the Year honors and was an All-Montgomery County first-team pick. She had an ERA of 1.62, a 16-7 record and had about three strikeouts for every walk.
Brenna Kelly, who got time in the circle as a freshman last season, and Ava Brown, a freshman this season, will also pitch for Lake Creek.
Reagan Davis, Cheyenne Goble, Kaylee Hagerty, Payton Hughes, Abby Kelly and Lauren Wilking make up the program’s first senior class.
Davis will play some at first base, while Hagerty will split time between the infield and outfield. Hughes is expected to contribute in the outfield, and Kelly, who batted well last season, will play some at second. Wilking will also be in the outfield. Goble will move around the lineup.
“She’s one of those players where we have the opportunity that can play in the infield or the outfield,” Rochinski said of Goble. “She did play the infield for us last year, but we know that she’s one of those we can kind of move around if we need to.”
Jenny Robison, a junior, returns in the outfield. Caelee Clark, a sophomore, is back at second base.
The team’s starting catcher from the first season is no longer playing softball, so there’s a spot to fill behind the plate. Kalee Rochinski — the coach’s daughter — Taylor Fenton and Shelby Winn will compete for the spot.
There will also be new faces on the left side of the infield. Freshman Maddie Mckee is expected to play at shortstop while sophomore move-in Madelyn Lopez will play at third.
“We’re just looking to add to the talent that we did have last year,” Rochinski said. “We will have some players that were on JV help us on varsity this year, then we’ll also have some freshmen that are going to have the opportunity to play on the varsity team.”
The Lions will once again fight for playoff spot in District 20-5A. The nine-team district grew by one with the addition of Grand Oaks. Last year, Lake Creek fought through a 16-game district slate to earn a playoff spot. This year, it’ll be 18 games.
“We’ve got to take it one game at a time because this is a competitive, tough district, but we want to go further than what we did in Year 1,” Rochinski said. “I believe, with this this squad, we have a chance to do that as long as we stay together and do the right things to prepare through the season.”