Down to Last Out, Ida Rallies to Win D2

June 17, 2017

By Perry A. Farrell
Special for Second Half

EAST LANSING – It took coach Howard Stuart 38 years to lead the Richmond High School girls softball team to an MHSAA Finals title.

He was one out away from getting his second against Ida.

The Blue Devils led 3-0 going into the seventh inning of the Division 2 championship game at Michigan State’s Secchia Stadium.

But three runs in the seventh stunned the defending Division 2 champs, and Ida used a four-run ninth inning to take away the title with an 8-4 win.

“That was pretty fantastic to be a part of it,’’ said Bluestreaks coach Dawn Forter, who finished her 14th season. “It has been fantastic to be a part of this since March 12. We had a feeling this group could do this for a long time. They worked together better than any group I’ve seen before. I told them to keep fighting. We’ve been down a lot during the season, and they don’t quit.’’

Ida’s Karlee Lambert led off the ninth inning with a single. She was sacrificed to second and Brooklyn Woelmer, who tied the game with a double in the seventh, singled and Sydney Janssen walked to load the bases.

Taylor Wegener hit a sacrifice fly to score the go-ahead run and Mallorie Duvall, Ashlyn Brososky and Whitney Wegener all hit run-scoring singles to pound the Blue Devils (33-5).

But only a late surge gave Ida (37-7) that extra-inning opportunity to win its first title since 1994.

To start the seventh Whitney Wegener scored on a fielder’s choice play to make it 3-1. With two out and a runner on, Woelmer hit a sinking line drive that got under the glove of the rightfielder and bounded to the wall. Racing around the bases, Woelmer was given a run-scoring double and scored on the two-base error to knot the score at 3-3.

“My coach said just get another hit,’’ said Woelmer. “I couldn’t say I was going to hit it out. Just trying to come through. Thank God. We just kept saying we’re not done yet. Our coach kept saying, why not us? And we agreed. I started bawling after we tied it up. There was hope.’’

In the top of the eighth, Taylor Wegener led off with a single, moved around the bases on a sacrifice and fly out and then scored on a wild pitch. But in the bottom of the eighth, shortstop Carley Barjaktarovich, who took a shot to the face off a bad hop earlier in the game, tripled with one out and beat a throw home to score on a short sacrifice fly and make it 4-4.

Richmond pitcher Erin Shuboy threw a no-hitter as a freshman in last year’s Division 2 championship game, and this year scattered just six hits going into the seventh inning before the Bluestreaks rallied.

“That’s a shame. We had that thing in the bag,’’ said Stuart. “We make a routine play and we keep the lead. Our defense has been great all year. All we have to do is stop the ball and we still have the lead. They had everything in the world going for them after that. They came in hot. You have to worry about hot teams.’’

Richmond put together the first threat of the game in the second inning when Raechel McKiernan singled and Cameron Barrett walked with two out. Ida pitcher Lauren Kreps got out of the jam when she struck out Kennedy Caperton looking.

The Blue Devils were at it again in the third when Barjaktarovich singled and Shuboy walked. Caperton came through with a run scoring single to make it 1-0 as the runners advanced on the throw. Evelyn Swantek followed with a single to make it 2-0, which was all the cushion Shuboy would usually need.

Richmond received a scare when Barjaktarovich took a shot to the face off a bad hop in the top of the fourth inning, but she stayed in the game. Ida put two runners on in the top of fifth, but Shuboy struck out Karlee Lambert and got Hannah Tuller to bounce out to shortstop.

Ida also put two on in the sixth with two out, but Ashley Teltow speared a line drive off the bat of Ashlyn Brososky to keep the Bluestreaks off the board. Richmond scored a run in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single by Thueme.

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS: (Top) Ida celebrates its nine-inning Division 2 championship game win Saturday morning. (Middle) An Ida hitter connects just in front of Richmond catcher Evelyn Swantek’s extended glove.

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.