Brown hits two homers in Lake Creek win over rival Montgomery


MONTGOMERY — It was a late afternoon break game, but it was no picnic for host Montgomery Lady Bears. Not with MoTown Showdown rival Lake Creek, the visiting No. 1 ranked Class 5A team.

Ava Brown and Madelyn Lopez helped Lake Creek jump early and the Lions cruised to a five-inning 15-0 win in the 20-5A District Tuesday morning.

The Lions (18-0, 3-0) are now 5-0 against the Lady Bears (7-14, 1-2) after leading them by 30 points in meetings last year.

The Florida Brown tackle threw a pair of two-run homers in the first two innings as the Lions scored seven runs. Lopez had three RBIs through the first two innings with two hits to left field.

“She had a little trouble at home plate for her,” Lake Creek coach Michelle Rochinski said of Brown, who was 3-for-3 that day with four RBIs. “Those two bats were huge for her. Even when she had her single (later in the match), she hits the ball hard.

“It was an excellent offensive game for the whole team. If we can keep the bats running, we’ve got some good stuff.

Lake Creek’s No. 2 pitcher, junior Madison Johnson, also showed up. She totaled 10 strikeouts and allowed just one hit with one out in the fifth inning to Montgomery’s Aubrey Yarnall.

Johnson entered the season at the college level after the Lions lost two of last year’s pitchers and fired Brown, one of the top high school pitchers in the nation.

“Madison has come out of the last two games and she’s thrown phenomenally,” Rochinski said. “She hits points, she mixes it up a bit. They got this one at the end. But we find a way to play great defense behind her. She does her job and goes. That’s huge for us, not putting all the pressure on Ava.

It wasn’t a much better start at the plate early for Montgomery as the Lake Creek starter earned a rare four-strikeout inning. Lady Bears No. 3 batter Sarah Allen reached for a dropped third strike before Johnson caught the fourth inning batter who was looking to pin her down at base.

After a scoreless third inning, Lake Creek added four more runs in the top of the fourth. Caelee Clark started off with an RBI defenseman pick and Kalee Rochinski drove in two runs in doubles. Jolie Bazan then hit a triple RBI at the clip to put the Lions up 11-0.

The Lions added four more runs in the fifth inning. Carmen Uribe and Clark each had an RBI while two runs were scored on an inside error by the Lady Bears.

Leadoff hitter Maddie McKee was 3-for-4 with three runs and a brace for the Lions.

“We played pretty well so far,” Montgomery first-year coach Daniel Carnline said. “I think that rivalry kind of gets into their heads and things like that. They hit the ball and made us work and we just didn’t do a good enough job today to hit the ball in play and make them work. We just have to do a much better job than that.

It’s kind of a new era for Montgomery with Carnline in charge. He is the program’s third head coach since Michelle Rochinski left the Lady Bears after 16 seasons to open Lake Creek. Montgomery hasn’t made the playoffs since 2018 and is returning a competitive team this season to try and make that comeback trip.

Until Tuesday, Montgomery had been competitive in its district games with a 10-0 run against Caney Creek and an 11-10 loss to New Caney last week.

“It comes down to a mentality,” Carnline said. “How badly do they want it. I think we lose sight of what our job is on the plate when they focus on this rivalry. Hats off to (Lake Creek), they’re a phenomenal team. I think we overthink things, try to make things happen, and try to force things to happen instead of letting things happen.

Lake Creek, meanwhile, has won 18 straight to start the season and is beating District opponents 37-0 (wins over New Caney, Dayton and Montgomery) so far.

“The season has started, I would say, tough,” Rochinski said, referring to the pre-district part of their schedule. “We were winning ball games, but they were a little closer. Now we put the bat on the ball and we were able to score some points. Assemble the hits. It’s only the third district game and we still have a long way to go. So far, I like what I see.

Lake Creek has a quick turnaround. He faces Kingwood Park at 1:15 p.m. Wednesday.

Montgomery is off until Friday when he travels to Dayton.

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