Howell Softball's Militello Leaves Legacy
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor
December 27, 2019
AJ Militello led Howell’s softball team to a Division 1 runner-up performance in the spring and finished her career all over the MHSAA record book.
The four-year varsity player had 75 runs and 17 home runs in her final season and finished on career lists with 202 runs, 210 hits, 32 homers and 186 RBI. She is continuing her career at University of Utah.
Teammate Avrey Wolverton, a sophomore in the spring, hit 16 homers and already is on the career homers list with 24 over two seasons. Senior Maddie Gillett added 16 to also make the single-season individual homers list and will continue her career at Carson-Newman University in Tennessee. As a team, Howell hit 62 home runs last season – second-most in MHSAA history.
Sophomore Maddie Springer also was added to the records with 16 doubles.
See below for more recent record book additions in boys basketball, softball, boys tennis and volleyball.
Hale’s Joseph Kimmerer became his school’s leading scorer early this season, and earned his second MHSAA record book entry as a junior. He made 149 of 176 free-throw attempts over 23 games last season for a percentage of .847, following his .883 as a sophomore that also ranks on the single-season list.
Zach Goodline graduated from Coloma this spring with 13 record book entries and consideration among the top scorers in MHSAA history. His 2,204 points over four seasons and 85 games rank 15th, while his 253 3-pointers rank ninth and his 577 made free throws are second on that list. He connected on 85.1 percent of his free-throw attempts over his career, good for the fourth-best success rate all-time, and he also ranks 10th with 308 career steals. He is continuing his career at Oakland University.
Byron four-year standout Greta L’Esperance finished her varsity career in the spring among the state’s highest achievers in a number of record book categories. She ranks ninth with 244 career runs, third with 297 career hits, tied for fifth with 35 career doubles and seventh with a career .610 batting average. She also finished with 48 doubles over 144 games and tied the record with seven RBI in an April 15 game against Durand. She’s continuing her career at Bowling Green.
Freeland’s Lily Beyer closed her four-year varsity career all over the record book as well this spring with 11 entries. Her 270 career hits over 151 games rank eighth all-time, while her 74 doubles are third and her 203 RBI rank 12th. She also made the career runs list with 191 and the career average list at .548. Additionally, teammate Cam Coonan was added for 75 hits as a junior in 2018, and now-senior Leiya Rybicki was added for seven RBI in a game April 25. Beyer is continuing her career at University of Toledo, and Coonan is playing at Saginaw Valley State University.
Lauryn Frenzel reached the 1,000-strikeout milestone as a senior for Mayville in 2018 and finished her four-year varsity career with 1,034 Ks to make the career list in that category. She just missed the single-season list with 356 as a senior, but her game high of 20 against Dryden in 2017 also was added.
Antonio Barretto and Brett Gurzell advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2018 Lower Peninsula Division 1 Finals at No. 1 doubles for Rochester Hills Stoney Creek and finished with a season record of 27-6, making the records list for doubles wins. Both were seniors; Gurzell played this fall at Albion College.
Oscoda’s Andrea Bickel joined the list of top servers when she had 16 aces over a three-set match win against Atlanta on Sept. 11. Bickel is a junior this school year.
Lexie Beeke added 919 assists this fall to her previous three-year total at Richland Gull Lake, finishing with 3,940 for her career – 14th most on that list since the beginning of rally scoring in 2004-05. She has signed to continue at Youngstown State University.
A number of Bronson athletes contributed to one or more MHSAA Finals championships over the last three seasons, including current senior Keona Salesman who was part of three title winners from 2016-18 before her team fell a few wins short this fall. She was added to the record book for 822 kills this fall and 669 in 2017, and for 2,501 kills and 299 aces during her four-year varsity career. Meagan Lasky was added for 1,524 assists this fall, and Kiana Mayer was added for 1,777 assists in 2017 – third most since the start of rally scoring. Mayer also was added for 3,401 career assists from 2014-17, and Lasky has 3,324 over her first three seasons with one more to play. Jill Pyles (144 in 2014), Alexa Ratkowski (135 in 2014) and Kiera Lasky (140 in 2017) were added for single-season aces, and Adyson Lasky was added for 358 career aces from 2014-17. Ashton Wronikowski was added for 440 career blocks from 2015-18. Pyles went on to play at Ohio Dominican University, Ratkowski played at Trine, Kiera Lasky plays at Davenport and Wronikowski plays at West Liberty University in West Virginia.
PHOTO: Howell's AJ Militello connects with a Warren Regina pitch during the Division 1 Softball Final in June.
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.