Aces Shine for Monroe St. Mary, Bronson

June 12, 2015

By Butch Harmon
Special for Second Half

EAST LANSING – It may not have been a perfect game.

But the no-hitter tossed by Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central sophomore Meghan Beaubien on Friday was impressive enough.

She entered the Division 3 Semifinal against Pinconning with nine no-hitters this season, including five perfect games, and reaching double digits by silencing the Spartans’ bats to lead St. Mary to a 6-0 win and berth in Saturday’s championship game.

Beaubien, who also averages 16 strikeouts per game, hit her average as she fanned 16 batters without allowing a walk.

Only a pair of third-inning errors prevented Beaubien from notching a perfect game. Those errors came at the start of the inning and gave Pinconning (30-14) a shot of momentum by putting runners on the corners with no outs. Beaubien, however, took the air out of that momentum by striking out the next two batters and inducing the third out on a fly ball to center field.

“That was a big situation to get out of,” said Beaubien, when asked about the jam she was in during the third inning. “They had runners on first and third with no out. They had their number nine hitter coming up, then it was back to the top of the order. So it was a big deal to get out of.”

Beaubien had a little wiggle room to work with thanks to a four-run first inning that staked St. Mary to a 4-0 lead.

With two outs and one runner on base, St. Mary (36-5) strung together four straight hits. Julianne Venier doubled in the first run, and Keeley Taft followed with an RBI single to give the Kestrels a 2-0 lead. Danielle Michael followed with a run-scoring double, and Michaela Rogers laced an RBI single to close out the scoring.

“The early runs help a lot,” said Monroe St. Mary coach John Morningstar. “We feel that if we get three or four runs, Meghan is pretty much automatic. Obviously it made it a lot easier with the early runs. It gave everyone some breathing room.”

Having Beaubien in the circle firing strikes also made it easier for the St. Mary players and coaches to take a breath. Beaubien entered the game with a Monroe County record 430 strikeouts to her credit. 

“This is what she does,” Morningstar said. “She averages 16 strikeouts a game. This was her 10th no-hitter, and she has five perfect games. At the level of which she is pitching, what she does out there does not surprise me. Obviously you don’t expect a no hitter or a perfect game, and it’s unfair to her to expect one.”

For Beaubien, who has already given a verbal commitment to the University of Michigan, no-hitter number 10 was more than special – even if it wasn’t a perfect game. 

“This is definitely up there,” Beaubien said. “To get a no-hitter in the state semifinals and get us into the state championship game is a pretty big deal. I never try to go out and throw a no-hitter and don’t expect it, but I do expect a lot out of myself when I go out there.”   

The shutout also gave the Kestrels plenty of momentum heading into Saturday’s 5:30 p.m. title game against Bronson. 

“To have a no-hitter in the state semifinals, it gives us a lot of confidence going into tomorrow,” Beaubien said.

Click for the box score.

Bronson 5, Montague 0

With more than half its roster freshmen, including four starters, the future looked promising for the Vikings (37-7) at the start of the season. 

That future arrived early, as halfway through the season Bronson coach Becky Gray knew she had a team capable of accomplishing special things.

Bronson accomplished something very special during Friday’s Semifinal – earn its first MHSAA softball championship game berth. 

“At the beginning of the year, I honestly didn’t know how good we would be,” Gray said. “We graduated five seniors from last year, and I did not know how the freshmen would do. As the season went on, I knew it was a possibility.”

It also was during midseason that senior pitcher Skyler Sobeski took her game to the next level. Already an accomplished pitcher, Sobeski began a run in mid-May that saw her allow only one earned run through the end of the regular season and up through Friday’s win. 

Sobeski scattered two hits and struck out 12 Montague batters en route to the shutout.

“It was definitely exciting pitching in front of all these people here,” Sobeski said. “I never pitched in front of a crowd this big before.” 

Sobeski relied on her normal pitches to get the job done.

“I was throwing my curves and rises,” Sobeski said. “That is what I usually throw.” 

Sobeski also pitched with the lead after the first inning. Bronson took a 1-0 advantage as Kelsey Robinson led off with a walk and then came in to score on an error after a sacrifice bunt by Hannah Hoover.

Bronson added four insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Freshman Payton Robinson started the rally with a single. Fellow freshmen Kiana Mayer then reached on an error, and freshman Kaitlyn Czajkowski added another single. Robinson then delivered a two-run single, breaking the game open, and Sobeski later helped her own cause with a two-run single to close out the scoring. 

The win was the 18th in a row for Bronson, and the Vikings have outscored their six playoff foes by a 49-1 margin. Montague, making its first Semifinal appearance, finished 22-13.

Click for the box score.       

PHOTOS: (Top) Monroe St. Mary’s Meghan Beaubien prepares to unleash a pitch during Friday’s Semifinal win. (Middle) A Bronson runner crosses the plate safely as the Vikings also earned a shutout in their Semifinal.

Owosso Ace's Strikeout Total Stacks Up with State's All-Time Best

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

January 4, 2023

Owosso’s Macy Irelan earned 11 entries in the MHSAA record book over her three-year varsity career that came to a close last spring, most notably with her 1,157 strikeouts despite the 2020 season being canceled due to COVID-19.

Irelan’s career strikeouts were the second-most in the state since the pitching distance was lengthened three feet in 2011. She finished 31-7 last spring with a 1.43 ERA and 414 strikeouts in 229 2/3 innings in earning the Miss Softball Award for pitching.  

She also hit .551 with 21 doubles last season, and her 55 career doubles over 117 games and three seasons made that category career list. She’s continuing her career at Kent State.

See below for more recent additions to the softball record book:


Unionville-Sebewaing’s dominating run to the 2021 Division 4 championship was filled with seven record book-worthy highlights, including many near the top of all-time lists. In going 40-3, the Patriots tied their season record for wins for the second time. Their 502 runs scored ranked third all-time, with their 493 hits tied for ninth, their 114 doubles second, their 49 home runs also tied for ninth, their 431 RBI also second and their 503 strikeouts thrown ranking third. Senior Brynn Polega completed her career with 13 record book entries despite her junior season being canceled because of COVID-19; she added listings for 71 runs, 79 hits, a third-best 28 doubles, 11 homers, 70 RBI, four perfect games pitching and 365 strikeouts, among others. Then-junior Laci Harris made lists with 77 runs, 83 hits, 22 doubles, 14 homers and 78 RBI, while then-junior Macy Reinhardt was added for 78 runs and then-freshman Gabriella Crumm was added for 16 doubles. Polega, Harris and Reinhardt also posted entries for single-game accomplishments. Polega is playing at Northwood and Harris at Madonna.

Big Rapids set a school record for wins in 2021 in finishing 34-7, a run which included a number of accomplishments that reached the record book. The Cardinals scored 439 runs – tied for 12th on that list – and also as a team were added for 428 hits, 82 doubles and 363 RBI, which tied for 10th all-time. Marissa Warren made the individual hits list with 71, while Hanna Smith earned an entry with 20 doubles and Rylie Haist followed with 19. Josie Cornell was added with 40 walks drawn. Warren, Smith and Haist were added for single-game accomplishments as well, as was Madison Affer from a 2019 game. Haist, Smith and Cornell are seniors this school year, and Warren is a junior. Smith has signed with Ferris State.

A pair of Bad Axe standouts earned record book entries in 2021 with their work at the plate. Haley Newland made the single-season doubles list with 19, and Brooke Messing was added for seven RBI in a game that saw her hit a grand slam and three-run homer. Newland graduated last spring and Messing is a senior this school year.

Montrose then-freshman Lainey Cannon made two record book lists with her performance April 25 against Montrose. She hit three home runs to make the single-game list in that category, and also made the single-game RBI list with eight.

Capac then-sophomore Madalyn Roberson made the record book three times with her performance May 9 against Brown City. She hit two home runs in back-to-back at bats, both during the fifth inning, and also drove in six runs for the game.

Spring Lake standouts now fill the record book after the addition of 55 individual and 23 team entries dating back to the 2000 season. Among listings ranking highest in their respective categories were Madelyn Nelson’s 81 runs in 2018, which tied for seventh all-time; Nelson’s 250 career runs from 2015-18) that rank seventh and Lauren Hellman’s 249 career runs also from 2015-18 that rank eighth on that list; Nelson’s 84 hits in 2018 that are tied for 12th-most all-time and her 264 career hits that rank 11th, Leah Vaughan’s 26 doubles in 2019 that rank seventh, Evie Lorimer’s 16 triples in 2011 that are tied for eighth and her 37 career triples from 2010-12 that are ranked fourth, Vaughan’s 23 career times being hit by pitch from 2016-19 which rank second, and Lorimer’s 92 stolen bases in 2012 that rank second (with all 92 coming consecutively to tie for fifth on that list) and 183 career steals that rank 11th. As a team, Spring Lake in 2017 ranked seventh all-time with 501 hits over 42 games, fourth with 109 doubles and eighth with 34 triples. The 2018 team ranks 11th with 441 runs scored over 41 games, 10th with 497 hits and tied for ninth with 100 doubles. Valerie Alter, Linsey Paggeot, Jenna Core, Molly Poole, Alicia Mumby, Leah Anton, Ann Marie Galloway and Rachael Adams also earned individual entries. Nelson went on to play at Grand Valley State, Vaughan plays at Aquinas College, Lorimer played at Central Michigan, Alter played at Jacksonville University (Fla.), Poole plays at Cornerstone University and Mumby played at Lansing Community College. Core plays volleyball at Hope College.

Freeland’s offense earned five record book entries during the team’s 26-12 season in 2022, including for 412 runs scored, 442 hits, 78 doubles, 336 RBI and a .400 team batting average. Three individuals also earned entries – sophomore Addie Steffen for a 20-game hitting streak and seven RBI in a game, junior Evelynn Rybicki for six RBI in a game and freshman Brynn Jaime for getting hit by a pitch twice in the same inning.

Chloe Parker hit .604 last spring and made the records with 20 doubles over 33 games for Niles Brandywine. She’s a junior this school year.

A series of record book entries were added for past and present Zeeland West standouts. Carly Sleeman was added for 73 runs, 75 hits, 27 doubles and 12 home runs in 2021 as a sophomore, while Lily Brower was added for 72 runs, 17 triples and 11 homers, plus 38 doubles and 29 triples over a four-year varsity career. Sleeman’s 27 doubles are tied for fifth-most in one season, and Brower’s 17 triples are tied for fourth on that list. Haley Hoogenraad was added for 70 hits and 17 doubles as a junior in 2015, 19 doubles as a senior, and 49 doubles and 24 triples over her four-year career from 2013-16. Kenzie Siersma was added for 17 doubles in 2017 and 54 over her career from 2016-19, while Courtney Sleeman made the season home runs list with 15 in 2015 and Sarah VanValkenburg made the career RBI list with 152 from 2014-17. Emily Brands was added for hitting consecutive home runs in the same inning, May 7 against Reese; she graduated this spring. Hoogenraad went on to play at University of Michigan, Courtney Sleeman played at Western Michigan, Siersma plays at West Virginia Tech, Brower played last season at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, and Carly Sleeman has signed with Central Michigan.

PHOTO Owosso’s Macy Irelan unloads a pitch during the 2021 Division 2 Final.