Performance: All Saints' Hannah Ducolon

May 19, 2017

Hannah Ducolon
Bay City All Saints senior – Softball

Ducolon will finish her high school career this spring among the most successful hitters in MHSAA history; her career batting average of .638 if she ended her final season today would rank third all-time. And it certainly got a boost May 11 during a sweep of Tawas when Ducolon was 10 for 10 from the plate in earning the Michigan Army National Guard “Performance of the Week.”

Her team’s shortstop and a four-year varsity player, Ducolon is hitting .720 this spring – which would rank fourth in MHSAA history for one season – with 24 stolen bases and an on-base percentage of .758. She’s a slap-hitter – she takes a shortened swing to place the ball away from fielders so she can use her speed to outrun their throws to first base, often with a bunt down the third-base line or a “slap” past an infielder playing in close. Ducolon also plays an important role off the field; All Saints was a softball power only a decade ago, winning the Division 4 championship in 2008, but the Cougars have struggled to find players of late and are 5-20-1 this spring with 11 on the team. Ducolon is one of two seniors and has worked to stoke interest in the program, teaming as well with her mother Beth, who took over the program before the 2016 season and was a standout on All Saints teams that made the MHSAA Semifinals in 1986 and 1987 (the latter team finished Class D runner-up). 

Hannah Ducolon also was a key contributor on the basketball team that went 17-5 this past winter, but her main stage is in the theater – she’s been active in All Saints’ drama program, her favorite role being Miss Hannigan in “Annie,” and hopes to continue in theater at Saginaw Valley State University. She’ll graduate 10th in her class and carries a 3.82 grade-point average, and she’ll study secondary education at SVSU. It wouldn't be a surprise if she ended up leading from a sideline someday as well; Ducolon has been coaching 4th-5th grade soccer the last three falls after playing volleyball as a freshman.

Coach (and mom) Beth Ducolon said: “Hannah has been the lead-off hitter at All Saints since her freshman year. Through her high school years and subsequent travel team games, Hannah has worked hard to perfect the art of slapping. She has really become good at reading the defense and putting the ball where they aren't. Hannah is an excellent bunter, but is very capable of slapping the ball through the hole or hitting a ball to the outfield. Her ability to place the ball, coupled with her speed has been the key to her successes. Hannah is an excellent leader and is a great example for the underclassmen on the team to learn what 100-percent effort means.”

Performance Point: “That was the day when our baseball team also was on the bus with us to Tawas," Hannah Ducolon said of her perfect hitting performance. "There’s a player on the baseball team with really long hair, and I made a deal that if I went 100 percent with getting on base, with no errors on the other team, I could braid his hair – and that’s what I did. I always try to go 100 percent, and it worked out that day. ... I don’t think that much ahead of a game. I show up when they tell me to and get the job done whatever we need. He didn’t believe me (that I went 10 for 10); I had to show him the book.”

Like mother, like daughter: “I was born into a softball family. It always was on TV, we were always going to games and such, and it just became second nature. I kinda adopted her game, and I have the same number (17) as her. She brought me up as a mini her, and I kinda joke that I’m a mini her but better. I’m blessed just to have a close relationship with my mom and softball."

Leader … and recruiter: “We try to explain (to interested players) how much fun it is, how much time we spend together as a team and how close we get. We always have cookouts between games, and there are so many family-oriented things we do as a team. Our school is so small, so sometimes they are scared of that because they think they know everything about everyone already, but softball is a chance to get closer. … We try to have as much fun as possible. It’s hard to see the younger girls struggling, who are new to it; they get flustered. But my role is to remind them it’s all about the journey: just have fun, try your hardest, and you can’t ask for anything more. Let the word spread, get a culture going. I think that has the ability to work; we’ve got some girls coming up who are passionate about the sport, but it can only go so far (unless) other people are passionate too.”  

Lessons in coaching: “It’s a lot of patience; patience is probably the biggest virtue you could ever have. It’s really hard to begin as a coach. You’re so invested in it, and you know some people are not as invested, and that’s frustrating. You also have to learn to be a leader, appeal to other people’s personalities, talk to other people differently, motivate them differently. I find that to be really interesting and fun. I love finding out how people work and how you can persuade them so we’re on the same team, working together for a common goal.”

Theater takes center stage: “What’s not to like about it? There’s so much history, so many layers to it. I’m very family-oriented; I like team sports, I enjoy close-knit groups. And theater is another one of those. On top of that, you get to express yourself and interact with the crowd in a way that isn’t you. You portray someone who isn’t you, but you get to put your own spin on it.” 

- Geoff Kimmerly, Second Half editor

Every week during the 2016-17 school year, Second Half and the Michigan Army National Guard will recognize a “Performance of the Week" from among the MHSAA's 750 member high schools.

The Michigan Army National Guard provides trained and ready forces in support of the National Military Strategy, and responds as needed to state, local, and regional emergencies to ensure peace, order, and public safety. The Guard adds value to our communities through continuous interaction. National Guard soldiers are part of the local community. Guardsmen typically train one weekend per month and two weeks in the summer. This training maintains readiness when needed, be it either to defend our nation's freedom or protect lives and property of Michigan citizens during a local natural disaster. 

Previous 2016-17 honorees:
May 11: Mason Phillips, Salem track & field Read
May 4: Lillian Albaugh, Farwell track & field Read
April 27: Amber Gall, Shepherd track & field  Read
April 20: Sloane Teske, East Grand Rapids tennis Read
March 30: Romeo Weems, New Haven basketball Read
March 23: Jaycie Burger and Maddie Clark, Pittsford basketball Read
March 16: Camden Murphy, Novi swimming & diving Read
March 9: Ben Freeman, Walled Lake Central wrestling Read
March 2: Joey Mangner, Chelsea swimming & diving Read
Feb. 23: Isabelle Nguyen, Grosse Pointe North gymnastics – Read
Feb. 16: Dakota Hurbis, Saline swimming & diving – Read
Feb. 2: Foster Loyer, Clarkston basketball Read
Jan. 26: Nick Jenkins, Detroit Catholic Central wrestling – Read
Jan. 19: Eileene Naniseni, Mancelona basketball Read
Jan. 12: Rory Anderson, Calumet hockey – Read
Dec. 15: Demetri Martin, Big Rapids basketball Read
Dec. 1: Rodney Hall, Detroit Cass Tech football Read
Nov. 24: Ally Cummings, Novi volleyball Read
Nov. 17: Chloe Idoni, Fenton volleyball Read
Nov. 10: Adelyn Ackley, Hart cross country Read
Nov. 3: Casey Kirkbride, Mattawan soccer – Read
Oct. 27: Colton Yesney, Negaunee cross country Read
Oct. 20: Varun Shanker, Midland Dow tennis Read
Oct. 13: Anne Forsyth, Ann Arbor Pioneer cross country – Read
Oct. 6: Shuaib Aljabaly, Coldwater cross country – Read
Sept. 29: Taylor Seaman, Brighton swimming & diving – Read
Sept. 22: Maggie Farrell, Battle Creek Lakeview cross country – Read
Sept. 15: Franki Strefling, Buchanan volleyball – Read
Sept. 8: Noah Jacobs, Corunna cross country – Read

PHOTO: (Top) Bay City All Saints' Hannah Ducolon charges toward first base during a game May 8 against AuGres-Sims. (Middle) Ducolon makes a throw from her spot in the infield. (Photos by Brady Kenniston Photography.)

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.