Sophomore, St. Mary Take Top Trophy
June 13, 2015
By Bill Khan
Special for Second Half
EAST LANSING — Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central softball fans had to wait 41 years for a glimpse of the MHSAA championship trophy, so what was a few more minutes?
The trophy was in the possession of sophomore pitcher Meghan Beaubien, who was being interviewed while the rest of her teammates were celebrating on the other side of the fence with family, friends and supporters.
No one deserved to carry the trophy off the field more than Beaubien, who took a perfect game into the seventh inning and hit a two-run homer for the game's only runs, as St. Mary won its first MHSAA title in the 41-year history of the tournament with a 2-0 victory over Bronson in the Division 3 Final on Saturday at Michigan State University.
She finished with a two-hitter, striking out 14. The Kestrels did not allow a run in seven postseason games, outscoring their opposition 29-0.
"I felt really good and focused in the postseason, which is really important," said Beaubien, who ran off the field toward St. Mary's fans with the trophy tucked under her left arm after her postgame obligations. "If there's any time to be really zoned in, it's now. It felt really good to be able to give my team the confidence that if we put up a couple runs, we had a good chance to win the game."
Beaubien was coming off her 10th no-hitter of the season in the Semifinal against Pinconning, with the only two runners reaching on errors in the third inning. She retired the final 14 batters of that game, then stretched that string to 33 batters in a row before Bronson's Kelsey Robinson reached base with one out in the seventh. The ball was bobbled at shortstop, and a single was awarded. Two batters later, Kinslea Blouin hit a clean single up the middle to give Bronson runners on first and second with two outs.
Beaubien, who verbally committed to NCAA runner-up University of Michigan before her freshman year, ended the Vikings' only threat of the game by striking out the final batter.
"I wasn't that worried about it," Beaubien said of the potential for only the second perfect game in MHSAA Finals history. "I just wanted to win, but I knew it was there."
In the final round of the tournament, Beaubien allowed only five hits and didn't allow a walk in 21 innings of work. She had 45 strikeouts against some of the best teams in the state.
"She did a fantastic job," first-year St. Mary coach John Morningstar said. "We knew that definitely she's going to go out and strike out quite a few hitters."
Beaubien's performance overshadowed a championship-caliber effort by Bronson senior pitcher Skyler Sobeski. Sobeski allowed only three hits, striking out five while not allowing a walk.
It came down to one swing of the bat — Beaubien's two-run homer in the first inning.
"I hope that (Sobeski) can let it go," Bronson coach Becky Gray said. "She'll feel like she lost the game, but that's not the case. It's unfortunate what happened today, but look what we did; it's spectacular. I cannot be disappointed, but I know there's tears."
Two of St. Mary's three hits came in the first inning, resulting in the game's only runs.
Kelsey Barron, who was 2 for 3, had a one-out single to set the stage for Beaubien. Beaubien slammed a 2-1 pitch over the fence in left-center field to give herself the only support she would need — plus an insurance run.
"I didn't know it was gone," Beaubien said. "I knew it was hit hard, but this is a pretty big field. I thought it was going to drop somewhere in the outfield. When I knew it was out, I don't know how to describe it. That was fantastic to give my team a lead in the game."
It was the second time in the playoffs that Beaubien threw a shutout and delivered her team's only runs. In a Regional championship victory over Allen Park Cabrini, her double produced the lone run in a 1-0 victory.
Sobeski responded to the long ball by retiring 13 straight batters and keeping the Kestrels off the scoreboard the rest of the game, but Bronson couldn't get anyone on base until there was one out in the seventh.
"(Beaubien) is a great pitcher," Gray said. "I thought we made some adjustments, but I think we made them a little too late. But my kids didn't give up. We didn't quit. We fought to the very last out. You can't ask for more than that."
St. Mary (37-5) reached MHSAA Finals in 1989, 1992 and 2007, but lost each time.
"Everybody here knew that was the case," Morningstar said. "They've been here a few times before. We just tried to keep it very, very simple. We told them to play the game one pitch at a time. If it works out for you, it's going to be a very special thing. I don't think it's hit me just yet as far as the history for the school. It's not an easy thing to do."
PHOTOS: (Top) Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central players celebrate their first MHSAA softball championship. (Middle) Meghan Beaubien prepares to launch a pitch during her two-hit performance.
Ace's 13 listings lead Hudsonville's 50 added to Softball Record Book
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com 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.)