Mullaly's Devotion to Local Sports Burns Brightly with Scoreboard Donations

By Doug Donnelly
Special for

April 11, 2023

HILLSDALE – Sports have always been a big part of Bill Mullaly’s life.  

Southeast & BorderIn high school, he played on the 1975 Hudson football team that set a national record with a 72-game winning streak.  

He coached an Arizona high school team to back-to-back state softball championships in the 1990s.  

And the 63-year-old Hillsdale resident has spent nearly three decades as an MHSAA-registered official in basketball, volleyball, baseball, and softball. 

Now, he’s giving back to multiple communities and school districts in southeast Michigan by purchasing and donating scoreboards for use at recreation and high school fields. 

"Bill is a great example of everything that is right with sports,” said Pittsford athletic director Mike Burger. “He has so much enthusiasm and love for the game. I have known him a long time and can honestly say he is one of the good ones that I have had the good fortune of meeting along my journey.” 

Mullaly decided to start his scoreboard campaign a couple of years ago and, so far, has donated a total of 15 scoreboards to seven communities in south-central Michigan, including four in his hometown of Hudson.  

“It’s to make the games more fun and more enjoyable,” he said. “I’ve been to two places this spring where they have scoreboards, but they aren’t working. It’s frustrating. It improves the whole game. It’s for everybody, the coaches, the players, the fans. It helps everybody. 

“I’ve got a lot of positive feedback. People are grateful.” 

Mullaly said he is fortunate to be in a position to help out the communities. His donations have all been to either recreation fields or high schools to which he has a connection, whether it be where he’s from ( Hudson), where he is a substitute teacher (Litchfield) or where he hosts baseball youth tournaments (Concord).   

One of the scoreboards in Pittsford is in memory of his mother, Beverly, a 1948 Pittsford graduate.  

“Someone said to me a couple of years ago, ‘What’s your legacy going to be?’” Mullally said. “I started thinking about what I can do to make a difference.  

“I saw a lot of recreation fields that do not have scoreboards. Most of them don’t. A lot of schools don’t have a scoreboard, in fact. I looked into the price and what it would take to get them and came up with this thing that I’m going to donate scoreboards to parks. I saw a couple of schools that needed them.” 

Mullaly, middle, stands last July with Jo Ann and Watson Clark in front of a scoreboard he donated to Will Carleton Park; the photo was taken during the 22nd David Clark Memorial Baseball Tournament. Mullaly purchases the scoreboards, then leaves it up to the school district or community to install them, which sometimes has been a hangup. In Hudson, he enlisted the help of a friend, Bruce Isenhower, and his son, Ryan, a former Hudson quarterback who now owns a construction company. They’ve put up all four scoreboards Mullaly has donated to Hudson. 

“It’s more than just buying it, it’s getting it put up,” Mullaly said. “They have installed them, completed the wiring and it’s great. It’s great to have a working scoreboard there. I’m just trying to give back and make a positive difference.” 

His first donation was to Concord, which went to the town’s recreation organization.  

“They have five fields and three scoreboards,” he said. “It just adds to the game, the experience. Everyone wants to know the score at these games.” 

In Hudson, two went to Memorial Park and two to Will Carleton Park, which is home to Hudson’s middle school and junior varsity softball teams.   

Last winter his donation went to North Adams-Jerome for a varsity softball field.  

“I’ve been there before,” he said. “The thing barely worked, and you couldn’t see the numbers. I wanted to help them out.” 

Pittsford has installed one of two scoreboards Mullaly has purchased for the district for its baseball and softball fields. Quincy and Litchfield are using scoreboards donated by Mullaly. He has also donated a scoreboard to Union City.  

“A guy was building a new complex two years ago. I said, ‘If you build it, I’ll donate the scoreboard.’ He said, ‘You will?’ I thought it was great what he was doing, and I wanted to be part of it,” Mullaly said.

Most of the signs include the moniker, “Donated by Bill Mullaly – For the Love of the Game,” which is something he and a friend thought up.  

“My main focus was to do it for parks that the rec teams play on,” Mullaly said. “They don’t have a booster club or a budget. That’s how it began, but then I started going around to high schools and noticing they need scoreboards too. 

“I get some satisfaction looking out there,” he said. “I feel blessed that I am able to do it. It’s neat when you are umpiring a game and you look out there.” 

The first scoreboard Mullaly purchased in 2021 cost less than $3,000. They are now running a little more than $4,000 each.  

“It’s useful and practical and can last for years if they take care of them,” Mullaly said.  

After college, Mullaly lived for 15 years in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., where he taught and coached softball. He makes a return visit annually to that area and manages to get on the high school softball umpiring schedule while in town.  

He retired as a teacher at Homer Community Schools in 2010. In addition to being a substitute teacher at Litchfield, umpiring and working as an official in other sports, he writes about sports for the Hudson Post-Gazette and Homer Index, two weekly newspapers. He’s done that since 1996. He also is a historian for the Hudson football team and area athletics.  

He’s never far from some aspect of sports. 

“I’m just trying to give back to the communities, to the sport,” Mullaly said. “I wanted to do something positive.” 

Doug DonnellyDoug Donnelly has served as a sports and news reporter and city editor over 25 years, writing for the Daily Chief-Union in Upper Sandusky, Ohio from 1992-1995, the Monroe Evening News from 1995-2012 and the Adrian Daily Telegram since 2013. He's also written a book on high school basketball in Monroe County and compiles record books for various schools in southeast Michigan. E-mail him at [email protected] with story ideas for Jackson, Washtenaw, Hillsdale, Lenawee and Monroe counties.

PHOTOS (Top) A scoreboard donated by Bill Mullaly stands tall at Pittsford High School. (Middle) Mullaly, middle, stands last July with Jo Ann and Watson Clark in front of a scoreboard he donated to Will Carleton Park; the photo was taken during the 22nd David Clark Memorial Baseball Tournament. (Top photo courtesy of Pittsford High School; middle photo courtesy of Bill Mullaly.)

Ace's 13 listings lead Hudsonville's 50 added to Softball Record Book

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

June 9, 2023

A total of 50 entries covering the last three decades of Hudsonville’s successful history have been entered in the MHSAA softball record book, with 2011 grad Sara Driesenga leading the way with 13 listings.

Driesenga’s most notable was her 0.15 ERA in 2010, which is tied for 10th lowest. Danielle Freeman, a 2013 grad, was added 10 times, including for 85 hits (tied for 10th) in 2012.

Others making lists one or more times were Kenzie Ritsema, Kelly Zackrison, Bethaney Murphy, Grace Sommers, Sydney Burns, Aleigha Talsma, Erica Bosman, Sarah Nederveld, Arinn King, Brooke Agers, Marleah Stapf and Lexi Agers.

Driesenga went on to star at Michigan, Freeman was a standout at Evansville, and Ritsema was a standout at Western Michigan. Zackrison played at Michigan State, Murphy at Saginaw Valley State, Talsma at Campbellsville (Ky.), King at Hope College, Brooke Agers at Muskegon Community College and Stapf at Florida International.

See below for more recent record book entries in softball:


A trio of Beaverton standouts over the last two seasons were added. Alexis Grove led with seven entries including 75 hits, 66 runs and 18 doubles last spring as a senior and 42 doubles and 158 RBI over her four-year career despite the cancellation of the 2020 season. Sawyer Gerow was added for 19 doubles as a senior last spring and 39 over her four-year career, and Molly Gerow was added for 72 hits in 2021. Grove is continuing her career at Northwood.

A pair of Otisville LakeVille Memorial players were added for accomplishments during the 2022 season. Jayla Thompson strung together a 24-game hitting streak beginning May 1 and continuing through her team’s District title run, and she also hit 12 home runs over 36 games. Teammate Mallorie Nevadomski became the third player to be listed for being hit by two pitches in the same inning, which occurred during the first inning of an April 11 game against Mt. Morris. Thompson is a junior this spring, and Nevadomski is a sophomore.

Fowlerville’s Tori Briggs earned her first record book entries last season as a sophomore. She tied the record for most triples in a game with four against Lansing Eastern, and also was added for 20 doubles over 34 games played.

Sabrina Lee was hit by pitches an incredible 33 times over 106 games and three seasons during her Rochester Adams career that ended last spring, and that’s with 2020 being canceled. She sits atop the career HBP list. Additionally, Adams coach Fran Scislowicz was added to the career coaching wins list with 756 since taking over the program in 1988.

Watervliet’s 36-5 run in 2022 included several performances that made record listings including for 476 hits, 438 runs, 349 RBI and 237 stolen bases as a team, and a .401 team batting average. Five players also earned individual entries, led by Samantha Dietz, who was added for 67 runs scored and 71 stolen bases in 74 tries – the latter tying for ninth-most stolen bases in a season. She also was one of four players added for driving in six runs in one game, joined by Abigail Whorton, Addison Riley (twice) and Grace Chisek. Chisek also was added for 75 hits, 75 runs scored, 12 triples and a 26-game hitting streak, and Maddie Flowers made the runs scored list with 73. Riley graduated last year, Dietz is a senior this spring, and Whorton and Chisek are juniors.

Kalamazoo Loy Norrix played a record-setting game against Comstock on April 9, 2021, and Gracie Goschke played a major part. She was added for three home runs in a game, including two grand slams, two home runs and six RBI during the second inning and 10 RBI total that afternoon. A sophomore then, Goschke is a senior this season.

East Kentwood finished a combined 50-28-1 over the 2021 and 2022 seasons, with three players teaming up to earn the program’s first record book entries. Aalana Kimble, a senior this season, tied for second all-time last spring as a junior with 18 triples and also made the records with 71 hits last year and 66 runs and 81 hits as a sophomore. Kelsey Depault was added for 81 hits and 19 doubles in 2021, and Emily Visser – now a junior – was added for 77 hits last season and 17 doubles in 2021. Depault graduated last spring and is playing at Northwood, and Kimble has signed with Saginaw Valley State.

Big Rapids reached the records in five team categories during the 2022 season, with 473 hits, 91 doubles, 344 RBI, 401 runs and a .424 batting average over 39 games. Marissa Warren led the charge, making the records with 70 runs, 79 hits and 21 doubles. She’s a junior this season.

Natalie Wandrie reached the record book six times last season as a junior at Indian River Inland Lakes, most notably for a .717 batting average that ranks sixth all-time for a single season. She also entered this spring on the career home runs list with 23, and hit 15 as a junior. She will play both softball and volleyball at Lindsey Wilson College in Kentucky.

PHOTO Hudsonville’s Sara Driesenga gets ready to pitch during the 2009 Division 1 championship game. (MHSAA file photo.)