The season is over and the championship run is completed, but Katy’s gathering of hardware hasn’t stopped.
Since the Tigers won the 6A state title on June 1 in Austin, first baseman Chloe Cobb was named the 19-6A District MVP and head coach Kalum Haack earned coach of the year honors, according to a June 4 tweet on the program’s account. Haack also was named a finalist for Coach of the Year for the 2018-19 All-USA High School Softball Team on the USA Today website on June 7.
The further honors have continued the success of a 37-2 season that ended the Tigers’ run of losses in regional finals. The three consecutive regional-final losses prior to this season made for a strong collective motivating factor this year.
“They just decided, hey, this is it, we’re too good a team, we’ve got too good of players to let this happen to us again,” Haack said.
The Tigers dominated from the start of the season on the strength of many crushed hits. As a team, Katy hit 50 home runs, 70 doubles and 14 triples, had a .407 batting average and averaged about nine runs per game, according to statistics provided by Haack. In the playoffs, Katy outscored the opposition by a combined score of 108-18, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Haack said the team was hitting so well this season that they didn’t get to work on offensive aspects like bunts, stealing bases or hit-and-runs.
Two of the team’s leaders this season were Cobb and pitcher Alyssa LeBlanc.
LeBlanc was sterling on the mound from the start of the campaign through the postseason. She went 20-1 with 0.81 earned run average with 176 strikeouts in 130 innings. Her rate of walks and hits allowed per inning, or WHIP, was 0.808. At the plate, LeBlanc, who will play for Texas A&M-Commerce, had a .448 batting average with nine home runs and 48 RBIs.
She capped the season by being named the championship game MVP after holding Klein Collins to six hits and two walks over seven innings in Katy’s 8-2 win, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Haack said LeBlanc’s great season can be credited to her being in the best shape she’s been in.
“She is a pretty good across the board. I think because of her being in good physical condition, she was just as strong in the seventh inning as in the first inning,”
Cobb owned the plate all season long, posting a .602 batting average with 11 home runs and 59 RBIs in 93 at-bats. In addition to that, as a pitcher she was 9-0 with a 0.42 earned-run average and 41 strikeouts in 35 2/3 innings. She will take her game to Texas Tech starting next season.
Several players from this year’s Tigers squad are graduating and moving on to college programs, which means spots will need to be filled on the 2020 Katy squad. Haack thinks potential opponents will be excited because of his team’s senior losses, and he doesn’t expect next year’s team will have the offensive firepower displayed by the 2019 squad. But he believes the 2020 team will be competitive.
“If they do what I think they’ll do, then you know what, we’re not going to be too bad,” Haack said. “If they don’t do it and they don’t step up, they hey, we could be in for a long season.”