By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Muskegon Catholic Central’s runs to the 2015 Division 4 baseball championship and 2016 Quarterfinals relied for obvious reasons on the ability to limit opponents’ hits – but also to take them.
The Crusaders set an MHSAA record in 2016 by being hit by pitches 87 times after also setting the record with 74 HBPs in 2015. Jacob Holt, who graduated this spring, tied the national record and broke the previous MHSAA record by eight with 65 times being hit by pitches over his four-season varsity career.
In addition, MCC was added to the MHSAA record book for a 1.13 team ERA and 161 stolen bases during the 2015 title run. Nicholas Holt, a senior on that team and Jacob’s brother, finished his pitching career 37-3 to make the career wins list and won 28 straight games over his final three seasons to tie for third on the list for consecutive pitching victories. Also, teammate Anthony Woodard was added for scoring 65 runs in 2015.
Nicholas Holt played this spring at Hope College, and Jacob is playing at Aquinas College. Woodard is playing at Benedictine University in Illinois.
See below for more recent record book additions, and click the headings to see those sports’ record books in full.
Homer’s Brock Ridgeway finished his four-year varsity career this spring on MHSAA career lists for runs scored (163), hits (184), RBI (142) and being hit by pitches (47) after being hit by 18 pitches this past season and three times in one April game. The 47 career HBP is tied for fourth-most all-time, and he also just missed the career pitching wins list with 32. Homer as a team this spring made season lists with a .354 batting average and 53 HBPs. Ridgeway is a freshman on the Central Michigan University baseball team.
A pair of senior pitching aces from the 2008 Grass Lake team that finished 34-6 and won the Division 3 championship were added for performances that season. Charlie Fisher made the ERA list at 0.96 and also had seven shutouts that spring to make the list in that category. Casey Hall was added for his 0.57 ERA. Grass Lake as a team ranks fourth for its 354 strikeouts that season. Hall went on to play at Western Michigan University and Fisher played at Hillsdale College.
Jordan Weber knocked down 73 3-pointers last season for East Jordan to finish his four-year varsity career with 278 – fifth-most in MHSAA history. He made nearly 34 percent of his 818 career attempts and averaged 17.1 points per game total as a senior.
A pair of Gaylord athletes were entered for impressive scores more than 30 years ago. Kurt Kakaviska made the records for his 90-yard punt return touchdown against Petoskey in 1982, while Mark Johnston was added for two interception touchdowns in one quarter in a 1986 game, also against Petoskey. Johnston actually scored a third defensive touchdown in that same third quarter, on a fumble recovery. Kakaviska went on to play at Northern Michigan University.
Cody Richardson played a significant part in Athens’ 12-0 shutout of Bellevue in the teams’ opener Aug. 26. Richardson, a junior, had four interceptions to tie for fourth-most in one game.
A pair of Reese hitters were added for batting prowess. Emily Schrader made the single-season hits list with 72 in 2010, while Monica Hagen – already on the single-season list with 73 in 2014 – was added to the career hits list with 209 over 132 games from 2011-14. Schrader went on to play at Delta College.
Grosse Pointe South's Grace Foster picked up her first record book listing as a sophomore this spring, hitting 19 doubles in 35 games. She hit .500 for the season.
Kennedy Kunnert joined the list of those who have hit back-to-back home runs, drilling hers out of the park for Pinckney in the first and second innings of a 12-5 loss to Hartland on May 11. Kunnert was a junior this spring.
Hastings coach Mike Goggins joined the group with more than 400 coaching wins last season, moving to 415-137 since taking over the program at the start of the 1998-99 season. His team finished 26-11 last winter with league and District championships.
PHOTO: Muskegon Catholic Central's Jacob Holt watches after connecting with a pitch during the 2015 Division 4 Baseball Final.
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.