D3 Semis: Contenders Survive Comebacks
June 13, 2014
By Kelsey Pence
Special for Second Half
EAST LANSING – Tinner Sharon’s chance at an MHSAA title was slipping through her fingers.
After giving up back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to lose a 4-1 lead, Sharon knocked a hit to left field and rounded the bases at full speed on a fielder’s choice by Sadie Strasser to give Gladstone its lead back.
With an injured ankle, Sharon then retired three in the bottom of the eighth inning to secure a 5-4 win over Coloma (34-10) in the Division 3 Semifinal at Secchia Stadium on Friday.
The senior pitcher was carried off the field as her team celebrated its fourth championship game appearance.
“All season we’ve had this motto of ‘never say die,’ and you never know what can happen in the bottom of the seventh, which was very important to (Coloma) today,” Gladstone coach Ashley Hughes said. “Tinner was struggling with her foot today, but she’s one incredible kid and definitely a leader for us.”
The Braves (29-2) had a 3-1 lead in the top of the seventh inning but scored on a balk to take a three-run lead.
But Coloma coach Wendy Goodline knew her team wasn’t completely out of it with Jenna Faultersack and Lexee Summers coming up.
“The two that got us back into it at the end are two of my hardest working girls,” Goodline said. “I’m not surprised that they were able to do that at all.”
Faultersack smacked a two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, and Summers followed with a solo blast to left field to tie the score at 4-4.
“It was huge, but we had some solid hits throughout the day too that could have been brought in,” Hughes said of the balk. “The game can go either way, so thankfully everything was in our favor today.”
Sharon was able to score on a throwing error by the Comets to get the winning run.
“We thought about putting a runner on for her, but she got on base in the eighth and looked over and was like ‘Nope. That’s not happening,’” Hughes said. “She is just unbelievable. It takes something unbelievable like that to happen, and she was great for us today.”
Teammate Jess Beaudry agreed.
“She’s one of our quickest people on the field and with her ankle like that, that’s adrenaline, that’s her wanting to win so bad,” Beaudry said.
The Braves scored first in the top of the first inning when Strasser stole home on a missed bunt by Beaudry. They increased the lead to 3-0 when Lexi Hongisto tripled to right field and Beaudry brought her home with a home run to center.
“Nothing has felt better,” Beaudry said. “I can’t even tell you. I didn’t know it was gone at first, but I wanted to get my teammates in and it felt great.”
Coloma’s Katie Scheuer got on base with a hit to center field to start off the bottom of the fourth inning, and Kristin Potter brought her home with a single to right field to make it a two-run game.
Both teams were blanked in the fifth and sixth innings, and it looked like the Braves were going to cruise to the win when Sharon struck out the first two batters in the bottom of the seventh.
“That’s the name of the game,” Beaudry said. “We get some hits, they get some hits. You just have to get that momentum back when they have it.”
Bridget Becker added two hits for the Braves, while Potter tallied two for the Comets.
Sharon struck out seven for the Braves, giving up seven hits and walking four. Coloma pitcher Emily Najacht struck out four, walked two and gave up six hits for the Comets. Click for the full box score.
Unionville-Sebewaing 7, Clinton 5
Rachael Hahn belted a home run to right field in the top of the fourth inning, and Unionville-Sebewaing held off a late rally by Clinton en route to earning a trip to the Division 3 Final.
The Patriots, back in the championship game after finishing runner-up last season, had a 6-1 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth inning but saw it vanish quickly when Clinton’s Megan Nelson and Sarah Turner both smacked two-run homers.
“I think that just gave us more momentum,” Hahn said. “It fired us up. We knew those runs were coming; we just had to go out and get them.”
USA’s Kayla Gremel reached on a Clinton error in the top of the seventh inning and Jennifer Winchell brought her home with a double to deep center to give the Patriots some cushion.
Clinton’s Ashleigh Donahey got a base hit to start the inning for the Redskins, but the Patriots retired the next three to book their ticket for Saturday.
“For me, this is my first time being on the field for a state tournament as a senior. So that was really exciting,” Hahn said. “I think we are doing a lot better this year, and I think it’s because we are closer as a team. We’ve just had a lot of great team chemistry.”
Erica Treiber and Stephanie Neuman both had two hits for the Patriots. Treiber struck out 12 and walked just two from the mound in six innings of work. Nicole Bauer picked up the save.
Donahey had two hits for Clinton. Megan Burton took the loss, striking out six, giving up eight hits and walking one in seven innings of work. Click for the full box score.
PHOTOS: (Top) Gladstone’s Tinner Sharon connects during her team’s Division 3 Semifinal win Friday. (Middle) Unionville-Sebewaing’s Madison Zimmer prepares to apply a tag to Clinton runner Caitlyn Schuler in front of third base.
Owosso Ace's Strikeout Total Stacks Up with State's All-Time Best
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com 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.