By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Three four-year varsity softball standouts carried Midland to another Quarterfinal run in the spring, finishing their careers as the Chemics finished 32-8 – and finishing as well with their best work all over the MHSAA record book.
Maya Kipfmiller made the records again with 24 doubles and finished her career with 72 doubles, 242 hits and a .541 batting average. Her season doubles tied for eighth most, and her career doubles are tied for third. Julia Gross was added for 18 doubles this season and 57 doubles and 211 hits for her career, while twin sister Tara Gross was added for 72 hits and a 36-game hitting streak in the spring plus 186 career runs, 216 career hits and 34 career doubles. Tara’s hitting streak was the sixth longest in MHSAA history.
Another standout senior, Jillian Elmer, was added for 17 doubles in her final season, and as a team Midland was added for 414 hits, 101 doubles, 289 RBI and a .403 batting average.
Kipfmiller is continuing her career at Boston University, while both Gross sisters are playing at Northwood University.
Read on for more recent record book additions in softball, football and volleyball, and click on the sport headings to see those record books in full.
Quentin Huckaby’s 76-yard punt on Sept. 22 tied for the 10th longest in MHSAA history. The Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian senior launched his kick during his team’s 41-28 win over Hopkins.
Redford Thurston sophomore Jayshawn Adams tied the MHSAA record for longest kickoff return with a 99-yard touchdown Oct. 20. His return was key to Thurston’s 23-17 win over New Boston Huron.
Alec Bageris was added for a number of passing accomplishments at Novi over three seasons from 2014-16. As a junior in 2015 he competed 188 of 305 passes for 2,344 yards – all three totals making single-season lists – and as a senior in 2016 he threw 26 touchdown passes. For his career, Bageris was 390 for 640 passing for 5,160 yards and 53 touchdowns.
A trio of Bath standouts were added for single game, season and/or career accomplishments. Recent graduate Kailey Wahrer hit three home runs against Ovid-Elsie on June 3, including two during the second inning, to earn three record book entries. Taylor Buck, who also graduated in the spring, was added with Wahrer for a 6-RBI game, a 20-game hitting streak from this past season, 20 doubles and 41 for her career. Now-senior Taryn Peru was added for 22 doubles and 46 over her first three years on varsity – she hit .511 overall and is committed to continue her career at University of Detroit Mercy. As a team, Bath was added for 437 hits, 91 doubles, 27 home runs and 321 RBI.
Schoolcraft’s Lydia Goble continued to build on her impressive career as a junior in the spring, moving up career lists with 172 runs scored, 41 doubles, 31 triples, 23 home runs and 167 RBI over 107 games and three varsity seasons. She also made the single-season list for triples with 12 for the second time in three years, was added for two consecutive homers against Hartford on April 29 and was added for 75 hits in 35 games as a sophomore. Freshman teammate Katie Parker had a strong debut in the spring as well, making the record book with two games of six RBI, three consecutive homers against Kalamazoo Christian on May 8 and 11 home runs total over 36 games.
Zeeland East’s Sophie Riemersma finished her four-year varsity career this fall with 2,271 kills – ninth all-time since the start of rally scoring in 2004-05. Riemersma has eight entries total in the MHSAA record book, including for 692 kills this past season (in 121 sets) and with season highs of 29 twice this fall. She has signed with Miami of Ohio.
Bloomfield Hills Marian junior Madison Dowd set her team to a Class A runner-up finish this season, posting 1,531 assists – which rank eighth for one season. She had 52 assists in a four-set win over Farmington Hills Mercy, making the single-match list in that category.
Hopkins freshman Brianna Miller made the single-match aces list with 11 this season in a Sept. 7 three-set win over Wyoming Godwin Heights, and Hannah Van de Roovaart’s 13 aces in three sets against Wyoming Lee on Oct. 23, 2014, also were added.
Grand Blanc’s Hannah Carnell also was added for aces in a match, after tallying 14 in a four-set win over Linden this Nov. 1. Carnell is a sophomore.
PHOTO: Midland’s Maya Kipfmiller drives through a pitch during a 2016 game. (Click to see more at HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)
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.