Kennedy Completes Record Power Surge
September 11, 2018
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Michigan has a new softball career home run leader.
Ann Arbor Father Gabriel Richard’s Julia Kennedy hit 22 this spring – tied for third most in a season – to finish her four-year career with 55 homers over 125 games. That’s one more home run than Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse’s Brooke Nadolny, who will enter her senior season in 2019 with 54.
Kennedy also was added for 18 doubles this season, and freshman teammate Savannah Wing made that list with 22. Kennedy will continue her career at Miami University of Ohio.
See below for more recent record book entries in softball and football, and click the headings to see those record books in full.
A handful of teams made the move from 11 to 8-player football for the 2009 season, making Nick Zaleski’s performance of Oct. 10 of that season one the earliest to grab headlines in the new format. Zaleski scored 11 touchdowns – nine rushing and two on kickoff returns – to lead Owendale-Gagetown to a 90-52 win over Posen. He also gained 431 yards rushing on 21 carries.
Grant Dittmer grabbed four interceptions in an Oct. 23, 2015, win over Mesick to help Bay City All Saints clinch its first playoff berth at the time since 2010. Those interceptions are tied for fourth most in one game (three players grabbed five in a game).
Auburn Hills Avondale enjoyed three highlight-reel returns that made the MHSAA records in 2017. Derrick Hinton Jr. produced two of them – a 99-yard kickoff return touchdown against Troy on Aug. 24 and a 97-yard punt return touchdown against Macomb Lutheran North on Oct. 20. Zeke Ringstaff also added to the scoring in that Week 9 win over Lutheran North that put Avondale into the playoffs – he brought back a fumble 100 yards for a score. Hinton’s kickoff return and Ringstaff’s return tied MHSAA records. Both are seniors this fall.
Anna Dixon closed her Farmington Hills Mercy career this spring on career lists with 177 runs, 226 hits and 42 doubles. She also made the hitting streak list with at least one in 33 straight games from May 12, 2017, through May 5 of this spring. Dixon will continue her career at Hillsdale College.
Pinckney’s Elizabeth Kramer hit her way nearly to the top of one of the longest category lists for any sport in the MHSAA record book, knocking 28 doubles as a sophomore in 2017. That total ranks third all-time for one season. Kramer is a senior this fall.
Brownstown Woodhaven’s Alyssa Harris capped her four-year varsity career this spring with 46 doubles, 27 homers and 150 RBI over 137 games. She’s continuing her career at University of Findlay.
Tessa Nuss’ junior season for Lake Orion was one of the most impressive in MHSAA history. She hit .654 this spring with 89 hits and 79 runs scored – the hits were the fourth most all-time and the runs tied for sixth most in one season. Nuss will sign with Binghamton University in New York.
Faith Howe capped her four-year Beaverton career this spring on the strikeouts list with 1,037, which included a career-high 397 in 2017 when she went 34-4. Teammate Ann-Marie Hicks was added for 42 career doubles over her four-year run with the Beavers, and senior Amaya Ware was added for six RBI in a game this April against Breckenridge. Howe also was added for three homers – including two consecutive – against Pinconning in May. Beaverton made team record lists going 38-4 in 2017 with 68 doubles, 250 RBI and 432 pitching strikeouts. Howe is continuing her career at Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee, and Hicks will continue at St. Clair County Community College.
Averi Munro completed an incredible four-year career in 2016 among the MHSAA’s best all-time in a number of categories. The Morrice standout earned 25 record book entries. Her 81 runs scored in 2015 rank fourth, her 266 career runs are third, her 271 career hits are tied for fifth, her 67 career doubles rank eighth, her 93 RBI in 2016 came in fourth, while her 287 career RBI are second most and her .630 career batting average ranks fourth as well. She continuing her career at Alma College.
PHOTO: Gabriel Richard’s Julia Kennedy powers through a pitch this spring. (Photo courtesy of the Ann Arbor Father Gabriel Richard softball program.)
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.