Richmond Finds Stride, Brings Championship End to 2021

By Jason Schmitt
Special for Second Half

June 19, 2021

EAST LANSING — Richmond senior Makayla Revord did what she’s been taught since first lacing up the cleats as a young ball player.

Keep your head down and run hard. 

So when she blooped a double down the right field line during the sixth inning of her team’s Division 3 Final against Buchanan on Saturday, she missed all the exciting action.

“I saw the ball land, and I kept going. I didn’t look at anybody else running. I just wanted to keep going to get more runs,” said Revord, whose hit drove in what turned out to be the game-winning run in her team’s 2-1 victory over the Bucks. “When I popped up (at second base), I had no worries anymore. I knew that we had this.”

Indeed they did. The Blue Devils scored twice in that sixth inning to rally from a run down and capture the second Finals championship in school history. The first came back in 2016 — also under current head coach Howard Stuart.

Richmond struggled against Buchanan starting pitcher Sophia Lozmack for the better part of six innings. The senior allowed just four hits while striking out six through five innings.

“She’s a great pitcher. You can’t take that away from her,” said Revord, speaking of Lozmack. “She’s got a great rise ball. She hits outside corners like nobody’s business. We don’t see a lot of that, so it took us a minute to catch up to that.”

Eventually, the Blue Devils did catch up in the sixth. Sophomore Piper Clark started things off with a one-out double and moved over to third on a single by junior Lauren Creon. Senior Jaelyn Amhdar then singled down the left field line, scoring Clark and tying the game up at 1-1. One out later, Revord came up with the eventual game-winner.

“The first half of the game, we were scared to death, which is not like us at all,” Stuart said. “(Revord) was shaking, she made two errors. It just wasn’t us. Finally, we got our act together and said, ‘Hey, we’re Richmond. Let’s do something.’”

Richmond softballBuchanan scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the second inning. Freshman first baseman Hailee Kara took a 1-2 pitch deep to right, clearing the fence while hitting the fair pole to give her team an early 1-0 lead. But from that point on, hits were hard to come by for the Bucks.

Richmond senior Shea VanScoter locked things down, retiring eight of the next nine Buchanan batters and 10 of the last 11 she faced. She had a complete game, allowing just one run on three hits while collecting nine strikeouts.

“She stymied us for seven innings, and that hasn’t really happened all year,” said Buchanan head coach Rachel Carlson, whose team finished with a 36-5 record. “So congratulations to her. She pitched great.”

Offensively, Clark led Richmond with three hits, including a double. She also had a stolen base.

“She’s a star. She’s a great sophomore who can run like the wind,” Stuart said. “And she’s a great pitcher too. She’s just a great kid.”

Stuart said Saturday’s win was a great way to cap off a season that may not have started off exactly the way he had hoped. It took a few weeks for the Blue Devils to get things going.

“The first week, I was like, ‘We’re terrible.’ We were making six errors a game. We were pathetic,” Stuart said. “All of a sudden we went from a fielding percentage of .700 to a fielding percentage of .900, which is just huge. I felt like in the middle of the season we had a really good team. We didn’t show it that first week, but we started getting better, and better and better.” 

Buchanan was making its first appearance in an MHSAA Final game. The Bucks were coming off a 9-4 win over Standish-Sterling in Friday’s Semifinal. Carlson said she couldn’t be any more proud of the way her team competed this season.

“They made a commitment to play as a team and as a unit. That’s what I’m most proud of today,” said the fourth-year head coach. “They cheered each other on all day. They never stopped. That is a success in itself.”

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS: (Top) Richmond's Olivia Theut pulls in a fly ball during the Division 3 championship game Saturday evening. (Middle) The Blue Devils’ Piper Clark (10) shows some excitement after reaching second 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:

Softball

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.