St Mary's Wins Again to Cap Ace's Career
June 17, 2017
By Perry A. Farrell
Special for Second Half
EAST LANSING – Something had to give in Saturday’s Division 3 Final between Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central and Napoleon.
All-state pitcher Meghan Beaubien, in 33 innings at Michigan State in Semifinal and Finals action over the last three seasons before Saturday, had allowed just four hits and no runs. Her resume included a no-hitter and a perfect game in last year’s run to the championship. As a sophomore, she threw a no-hitter on the way to the team’s first of two straight titles.
The Pirates entered this championship game after scoring 16 runs in a Semifinal victory over perennial power Gladstone. No matter what happened, they would go down swinging against Beaubien, who is University of Michigan-bound.
So what would give?
The Pirates threw the ball all over the place with seven errors, and Beaubien and the Kestrels were never in trouble after the third inning in a 13-1 clincher of their third straight Division 3 title.
Beaubien finished her high school career with 16 strikeouts against the Pirates.
“I didn’t really have a lot of goals when I first got here,’’ she said. “The bar has definitely been lifted. Each state title was different, and this one was definitely our largest margin of victory.’’
The Kestrels finished 27-3 and left lasting memories for coach John Morningstar.
“To have done it three times is amazing,’’ said Morningstar. “Every one is special in its own unique way.’’
Things started strangely in the bottom of the first inning. After a strikeout, senior Dylan Wiley beat out an infield single. So no no-hitter.
Rachel Griffin hit a grounder that Brooklyn Barton fielded. She tagged Griffin on the first base line, but the ball popped loose. The umpired ruled Griffin safe and the Pirates had runners at first and third with just one out.
“I thought that was important because you don’t want to fall behind early,’’ said Beaubien.
Pitching prevailed as Beaubien struck out the next two hitters to end the threat.
Taking advantage of two walks by teammates batting in front of her during the third inning, Beaubien sent a shot that got past the center fielder for a triple, giving herself a 2-0 lead.
An error led to Beaubien scoring from third, and the two-time reigning champs had a comfortable 3-0 lead for a pitcher who hadn’t given up a run in two previous championship game appearances.
Grace Mikesell’s two-run double blew the game open as the Kestrels built a commanding a 5-0 lead. Samantha Michael added a run-scoring single to make it 6-0 to end the scoring in the frame.
Napoleon’s lone run came in the bottom of the third inning when Dylan Wiley singled down the leftfield line and scored on a three-base error as senior catcher Kenna Garst was unable to track down a throw because she’d suffered a knee injury. It was the first run Beaubien had allowed in three appearances at MSU, and Brooke Angerer then replaced Garst behind the plate.
More errors by Napoleon led to a run in the fourth inning with Abbey Johnson scoring on a wild pitch to make it 7-1. Kelsey Barron’s triple brought in Beaubien from second base and made it 8-1, and another fielding error increased the lead to 9-1.
“I don’t know where all the errors came from,’’ said Napoleon coach Douglas Richardson. “Meghan’s a great pitcher. She throws hard. We had 19 hits yesterday and just two today.’’
Regardless, it was an incredible run for a large Pirates senior class that led the team to a 37-5 finish this season and played especially significant roles in last season’s run to the Quarterfinals and this first championship game appearance.
Wiley had both hits for Napoleon. Mikesell and Danielle Michael both had two hits and two RBI for St. Mary, following up Beaubien’s 3 for 3, three run, two RBI performance.
PHOTOS: (Top) Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central celebrates its third straight Division 3 title at Secchia Stadium. (Middle) Meghan Beaubien unloads one of her final pitches as a high schooler.
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.