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.
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.