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Maddie McKee ready to continue winning ways at LSU
Maddie McKee is one of the top recruits joining LSU in 2023. (Credit: LSU Athletics/@mmaddiemmckee/Twitter)

Maddie McKee ready to continue winning ways at LSU

MONTGOMERY, Texas (BVM) — The will to win was instilled in Maddie McKee at an early age by her parents, Mickey and Kristi, who competed at the collegiate level. Now their daughter is set to follow in their footsteps as she eyes an athletic future at LSU.

“It’s [competitiveness] always been in my blood,” Maddie said. “We’ve always been a big baseball and softball family, and I loved playing it all the time when I was growing up.”

Mickey played baseball at Tulane and was drafted in the 32nd round of the 2000 MLB Draft by the Houston Astros, and Kristi played softball at South Dakota. Maddie also played alongside her sister, Taylor, who influenced her athletic journey. 

Mick Mckee, kristi mckee lsu recruiting visit
Maddie with her parents, Mickey (left) and Kristi (right). (Credit: LSU Athletics/@mmaddiemmckee/Twitter)

“I was 8 and played up on 10U,” Maddie said. “My sister was a year older than me, so I played with her team.”

As her love for softball grew, so did her thirst for competition, which led Maddie to join the Hotshots-Nelson travel ball program. Maddie won national championships with Hotshots in 2020, 2021 and 2022 and played alongside her close friend Ava Brown, a Florida softball commit and the No. 2-ranked player in the Class of 2023.

“Me and Ava have been best friends for eight years, and we’ve always played together,” Maddie said. “We’ve been inseparable for so long; our parents are best friends, and we do everything together; we push each other to be better, but it’s still competitive, and that makes us better individually.”

Both truly bring the adage, iron sharpens iron, to life, and that was seen as both led the Lake Creek Lions to a 41-0 record and the Class 5A state championship in 2022.

Maddie was named All-Greater Houston Hitter of the Year that season and is now aiming to defend her title in 2023 while batting .588, hitting three home runs and having 24 RBIs, according to MaxPreps. Her performances have led to a top-20 ranking by Extra Innings, and also have the Lions eying history again with a 27-0 record.

“We know we have a big target on our back,” Maddie said. “Everyone is going to give us their best game, and a lot of people are against us and want to see us fail. We just want to stay composed; we can’t worry about the outside noise; we have to play our game like we know we can.”

Helping Maddie and the rest of the Lions remain focused on that goal is head softball coach Michelle Rochinski.

“She’s really easy to talk to and a good coach and will do anything to defend us,” Maddie said.

Along with Rochinksi’s guidance, Maddie also draws inspiration from current Houston Astros star Jose Altuve.

“He’s always so composed, and when everything happened with the cheating scandal, he stayed positive through everything and played his best game when everyone hated him,” Maddie said. “I get a little rattled when someone screams at me, so I’m trying to be a little more like him.”

Having that sort of mindset can be crucial to a recruit like Maddie, and she will aim to carry it to Baton Rouge, where she’ll suit up for the LSU Tigers.

“Everyone says, ‘When you step on campus, you know it’s your home,’” Maddie said. “I went on my visit, and I absolutely loved it. I’m a huge family girl, and I didn’t want to go somewhere too far where I couldn’t see them. Also, the coaches are awesome, and they’re so good with everyone. It’s a good blend for me, and they have a lot to teach me.”

However, when she first opened her recruitment, it was almost too much for her, and she was nearly overwhelmed by the recruiting process.

“It was very stressful,” Maddie said. “I got invited to visits, but I had to pick which ones I wanted to go to, and I did narrow it down to the three schools at the end, but waiting on someone to call, and if they didn’t contact you, it’s just really overwhelming. But after I committed, it was a huge weight off my shoulders.”

Looking ahead to her future career in Baton Rouge, Maddie will be ready to create a new legacy with the Tigers, and she knows there are going to be rough days ahead, but softball will always be there, and it’s already helped provide a positive foundation for the rest of her life. 

“Softball means a lot to me,” Maddie said. “It’s something that takes my mind away from everything else. If I’m having a bad day, I’ll go hit, and when something goes wrong in my life, it’s always there…And I know with the hard work I’ve done, softball is setting me up for the rest of my life.”

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