Performance: Mercy's Abby Krzywiecki
May 4, 2016
Farmington Hills Mercy senior – Softball
Krzywiecki appears in the MHSAA softball record book eight times – and that doesn’t include the incredible numbers she’s putting up again in this, her final high school season. This spring she’s hitting .464 with eight home runs and 38 RBI in 17 games – and she had the winning hits in both games of Friday's 2-1, 5-2 sweep of reigning Division 1 champion Warren Regina to earn the Michigan National Guard Performance of the Week.
The senior first baseman dropped a bloop single to drive home the winning run in the sixth inning of the first game, then drilled an opposite-field three-run homer in the first inning of the second to lead the No. 2-ranked Marlins, who now sit 16-1 this season after advancing to the Division 1 Semifinals a year ago. Regina had beaten Mercy in three straight games, but the Marlins now have control in the Detroit Catholic League Central race.
Krzywiecki’s 36 career home runs in 109 games over the last four seasons rank seventh on the MHSAA career list, and she should climb at least a few more spots as she pursues the record of 49. She ranks 13th currently with 182 RBI and has a .497 career batting average, and she’s also 43-5 pitching over her varsity career. Krzywiecki committed to play collegiately at South Alabama as a sophomore and is interested in studying business.
Coach Alec Lesko said: “As a senior and four-year starter, Abby has become a tremendous leader. Both on and off the field, Abby has shown character that helps make everyone around her better. Recently, off the field, Abby was walking the halls of Mercy High School and saw a teammate underclassmen all stressed out. Of course, Abby asked, ‘What was wrong?’ Apparently this young lady was having a tough time with a big assignment. Abby immediately stopped what she was doing and helped find the right resources and people, other teammates, to assist this fellow student to understand and complete this assignment. When I heard of this, I was by no means surprised. Abby does this all the time on the field! She has a calming effect with the team, (and) she helps younger players at practice as well as games. She is perhaps the biggest cheerleader in encouraging everyone all the time. Abby's own work ethic and dedication to her softball life is evident during games. Her stats speak for themselves. Abby is getting an incredible amount of attention this season with awards, scholarship opportunities, and top player awards and people to watch. This could be a difficult distraction to deal with, and Abby has taken it all in stride. … Abby, along with our other two senior captains, are bringing this team closer together.”
Performance Point: “I had a day when I was off (April 26 against Livonia Ladywood), so I went home and worked harder than I had in a while. I knew Regina would be a roadblock, so I worked hard to be the best player I could be not for myself but for my team. It’s not about getting my stats higher, but getting base runners in position to score for the team. I thought more about placing the ball, not hitting it as far as I can but as hard as I can. I’ve learned to not swing for the fences; if you swing hard enough with a perfect swing, it’s going to out, and I’m getting better at that mentality.”
Work pays: “To be able to see the results of my hard work paying off is pretty incredible. To know the feeling that I wasn’t wasting my time, that if I had to miss a social event, go to practice or a tournament … the numbers like the records I’ve achieved, wow – look what I can do if I set my mind to something. It blows me away how well I did just because of the support of my team, my family and my coaches, and I’m working harder than ever. It’s reassuring to know if you work really hard at something you love – softball is one of the priorities in my life – to know that if you have to miss out on things, it comes out to be the best thing for you. I’ve noticed that throughout high school.”
Sounding off: Krzywiecki’s teammates often catch her making a clicking sound with her mouth – she mentally prepares by trying to imitate the sound of the ball coming off her bat. “When I’m walking up there, you can hear me or I might do it before game one (of a doubleheader). If I’m struggling, you can see me doing it a couple of times; I’m trying to get the sound of the bat perfectly; especially with my bat, I can tell when I hit it perfectly. A lot of these girls are my best friends, and they know if I’m making that clicking noise, they let it go.”
Unfinished business: “We’re just super excited about how much potential we have. We have a lot of talent, but we have even more chemistry and teamwork and positivity. We have a great attitude, and when you have great human beings surrounding you, you’re excited to keep pushing forward to see how good you can get. It’s unrealistic to think we’ll win every single game, especially in an unpredictable sport like this, but it will be fun to see how far we get together.”
Passport ready: “I’m thinking business (at South Alabama), but I’m really into the entertainment industry. So I’m interested in working at Universal (Studios), behind the scenes there, or in international business because I like to travel. I’ve been to over half the states, I went to Paris when I was younger, obviously Canada, Hawaii twice, and Boulder, Colorado, which is my favorite place in the world. And my family is planning a trip to Italy in two summers for my parents’ anniversary. I’m comfortable being uncomfortable … so I just love to travel.”
– Geoff Kimmerly, Second Half editor
Every week during the 2015-16 school year, Second Half and the Michigan 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 protecting lives and property of Michigan citizens during a local natural disaster.
Previous 2015-16 honorees
April 27: Mike Mokma, Holland Christian baseball - Read
April 20: Abby Divozzo, Cadillac girls soccer - Read
March 30: Cassius Winston, Detroit U-D Jesuit boys basketball - Read
March 23: Kierra Fletcher, Warren Cousino girls basketball - Read
March 16: Jacob Montague, Grosse Pointe South swimming & diving - Read
March 9: Kyle Tuttle, St. Charles boys bowling - Read
March 2: Brittney Schnicke, Caledonia girls bowling - Read
Feb. 24: Kamari Newman, Detroit East English boys basketball - Read
Feb. 17: Jason Whitens, Powers North Central boys basketball - Read
Feb. 10: Rachel Hogan, Grand Ledge gymnastics - Read
Feb. 3: Nehemiah Mork, Midland Dow swimming & diving - Read
Jan. 27: Mardrekia Cook, Muskegon girls basketball - Read
Jan. 20: Sage Castillo, Hartland wrestling - Read
Jan. 13: Rob Zofchak, Dexter swimming & diving - Read
Jan. 6: Tyler Deming, Caro wrestling – Read
Dec. 15: Jordan Weber, East Jordan boys basketball – Read
Dec. 8: Kaitlyn Geers, Kent City girls basketball – Read
PHOTOS: (Top) Farmington Hills Mercy's Abby Krzywiecki is greeted at home plate by her teammates after a home run. (Middle) Krzywiecki powers through another swing. (Photos courtesy of the Mercy athletic department and Krzywiecki family.)
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.