The Lake Creek (Texas) High School softball team was named the 2022 USA Today High School Sports Awards Girls’ Team of the Year during the July 31 digital broadcast.
The USA Today High School Sports Awards is the nation’s largest high school sports recognition program. Over 800 athletes were honored, and the winners of 29 sports and other special awards were announced during the live show, hosted by former NFL players Rob Gronkowski and Vernon Davis.
Behind stalwart junior and player Ava Brown, Lake Creek was perfect in every sense of the word during the 2022 season – just the school’s third year of varsity competition. On their way to a 41-0 season and a No. 1 national ranking in the USA TODAY Super 25 Finals, the Lions outscored their opponents 337-33.
Their 19th shutout of the season, a 7-0 loss to Georgetown, clinched the Texas 5A state title and the first softball championship in school history. The catalyst was Florida’s Brown, who tossed 1 hitter with no walks and eight strikeouts in the state game and racked up a whopping 335 strikeouts in 183 ⅓ innings this season.
Head coach Michell Rochinski installed another junior star in leadoff hitter Maddie McKee, who hit .511 at the plate and tormented opposing pitchers with 77 stolen bases. But there were plenty of standouts in a relentless Lions lineup that combined for a club-high 29 home runs, 16 triples and 71 doubles. With only three total seniors on this year’s roster, we haven’t heard the last of Lake Creek Softball, which has won 79 of its last 81 games.
Lake Creek topped the other finalists: the Hazel Green High School (Alabama) girls basketball team, which won its fifth straight Alabama Class 6A state title, finishing with an average margin of victory of 35 points and a 59-game winning streak; And the Loyola Marymount (Calif.) High School girls volleyball team, which won the Southern Section Division I and Open Division California volleyball championships en route to a 35-0 season against state and national powerhouses.