Coleman, Centreville Post Semis Shutouts

By Paul Costanzo
Special for

June 15, 2018

EAST LANSING – Autumn Tubbs swears that “darn it” was as profane as she allowed herself to get.

The Coleman senior shortstop was visibly frustrated with herself after turning out of the way of an inside pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth inning of a tie game. But one pitch later, none of that mattered.

Tubbs smacked a two-run single providing the only runs in Coleman’s 2-0 win Friday against Rogers City in a MHSAA Division 4 Softball Semifinal at Michigan State University’s Secchia Stadium.

“I should have let it hit me, but I didn’t, and it’s fine,” Tubbs said. “(I thought) this is an amazing opportunity for me to be able to hit the only two runs we got in, and get us hyped up to get three outs and end the game.”

Coleman (30-9) advanced to the Division 4 title game at 5:30 p.m. Saturday against Centreville. It’s the first trip to the title game since 2005 for the Comets, who won the championship that year.

“We got down to the semis last year, and every year has been another step, so hopefully we can get two steps in one,” Coleman coach Chad Klopf said. “It feels good.”

Coleman needed not just Tubbs’ heroics, but a gem from pitcher Faith Barden and the defense behind her to take this step. Barden struck out 11 batters while allowing three hits and two walks in front of a defense that committed just one error. 

“We’ve always been a really good defensive team, and Faith knows that we’re always going to be behind her,” Tubbs said. “Faith’s played with us on travel ball leagues, and she’s always been our pitcher, we’ve always had to back her up. It’s just a nice opportunity to be able to have the opportunity to win a state championship with her on the mound.”

Rogers City (32-6) had just one runner advance to third base, and that came with two outs in the second inning and was immediately followed by a strikeout.

“That’s a good hitting team. That’s all we’ve been told, that they’ve been pounding the ball, scoring runs,” Klopf said. “(Barden) has been lights out for us the past couple weeks. She’s thrown all through the tournament; she’s done a great job. (Assistant coach Allison) McKibbin calling the pitchers for her and Kylie (Herkel) working behind the plate for her have done a great job, and she’s got a great defense that she can trust, and that makes it a lot easier to pitch when you’ve got a great defense.”

Barden had a strong day at the plate, too, with a pair of hits, including one to load the bases before Tubbs came to the plate in the sixth. 

“Either way, I told (Tubbs) do what she wants to do,” Klopf said. “She knows this game in and out. She could easily be standing in that third base box someday and getting it done for her team, because she understands it. She knew with the bases loaded that there’s a run right there if she lets it hit her. She’s a solid ball player, she’s hit the ball for us and played well, so I had no problem with her not getting hit because I knew she was probably going to come through with a hit for us.”

Coleman didn’t get many chances to score, as the Rogers City defense made some spectacular plays to keep balls in the infield. The Comets did threaten to score in the bottom of the fourth inning, but the Rogers City defense again came up big. Barden, who opened the inning with a single, had advanced to third on an error and a passed ball. She was thrown out at home, however, when Rogers City perfectly covered a sacrifice bunt attempt. Amanda Wirgau fielded the bunt, threw the runner out at first, then covered the plate and tagged out Barden to keep the game scoreless.

“I thought our defense played outstanding today. We really made some nice plays,” Rogers City coach Karl Grambau said. “We made defensive plays good enough to win the game, but we just couldn’t get the bats going today. You have to credit their pitcher; their pitcher kept us off guard.”

Rogers City sophomore pitcher Kyrsten Altman had a strong game, allowing six hits and striking out one over six innings.

Click for the full box score.

VIDEO: Coleman's Autumn Tubbs had this two-run single in the sixth inning to give the Comets a 2-0 lead.

Centreville 4, Unionville-Sebewaing 0

For the first time in school history, Centreville (35-6) will play for an MHSAA softball championship.

A marvelous pitching performance from sophomore Hannah Duchene and some heads-up base running keyed the Bulldogs, who were playing in just the second Semifinal in school history.

“It was what we expected – they’re a tough ball club and they’ve been here before and are much more familiar with this atmosphere,” Centreville coach Scott Logan said. “It hasn’t sunk in yet, I guess. They just keep playing, they keep playing hard and they play relaxed. They want to be here, and that’s a good thing.”

Centreville scored its first two runs on wild pitches, and blew open a tight game in the top of the seventh inning, scoring three insurance runs. The big hit in the inning was an RBI single from Joanna Larsen. Centreville scored one more run on a throwing error on the play.

The Bulldogs also had some defensive brilliance in a key spot. With a runner on second and one out, Centreville second baseman McKenzie Sheteron back-tracked to catch a fly ball in right field, then threw the tagging runner out at third to end the sixth-inning threat.

Duchene held the Patriots hitless through 3 2/3 innings and finished with eight strikeouts while allowing four hits and four walks. USA pitcher Katelyn Engelhardt had two of those four hits. Just one of the runs USA (31-9) allowed was earned.

Click for the full box score.

VIDEO: Centreville's last two runs against Unionville-Sebewaing came on a wild play. Joanna Larsen singles to drive in MaKenzi Troyer, and McKenzie Sheteron would also score on the play on an error.

PHOTOS: (Top) Coleman pitcher Faith Barden unwinds toward the plate during her team’s Division 4 Semifinal win Friday. (Middle) Centerville’s Hannah Duchene prepares to fire a pitch in the Bulldogs’ victory.

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.