By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Nick LaCross got on base more than half the times he appeared at the plate for Sault Ste. Marie this spring, with an on-base percentage of .531.
He had 29 hits – and also was hit 29 times by pitches, setting an MHSAA record and tying the national record set in 1965.
LaCross, a junior, was hit by pitches three times in two games. Teammate Travis Zaborowski joined him on the hit-by-pitch record list, also getting hit by pitches three times in a game. As a team, Sault Ste. Marie tied for 11th on the MHSAA single-season HBP list with 53.
Click to see all of the MHSAA record book for baseball and below for the rest of this week’s record additions for girls basketball, boys basketball, boys lacrosse, girls soccer, softball and wrestling.
- A pair of the state’s most successful coaches over the last two decades were added to the coaching list with more than 300 wins to their credit. Houghton’s Julie Filpus has a 345-55 record since taking over in 1999 and led teams that made MHSAA Semifinals in 2006 and 2013 and won the Class C championship in 2005. Houghton finished 19-6 this season.
- Doug Harkema led Bellevue to a 16-5 finish in 1993, then took over Holt the following fall and won 290 games toward his career record of 306-186. His teams have won nine District titles and reached Regional Semifinals four seasons. The Rams finished 15-8 this winter.
- It took 25 years to get his due in the MHSAA record book, but Blissfield’s Greg Denecker has been added for 1,006 rebounds during his career stretching from 1987-90. His total ranks 11th and would’ve ranked seventh when he graduated from high school. Denecker went on to play at the University of Findlay.
- DeShawn Brocks led Detroit Westside Christian Academy to a 13-7 record this winter supplying both offensive and defensive prowess. The senior scored 21 points per game, and also made the MHSAA record listings with 102 steals. He had a season-high 11 steals in a 70-48 win over Detroit University Prep Science & Math; that total made the single-game MHSAA list for that category.
- Owosso senior Jalen Weekley finished his career among the sharpest shooters in MHSAA history, drilling at least 70 3-pointers for the second time in three seasons to finish his career with 192. Weekley had a high of 72 as a sophomore, his first season on the varsity. He will continue his basketball career this fall at Mid-Michigan Community College.
- Zachary Montgomery nearly outscored his team’s opponent himself on April 21, putting eight goals in the net to lead Spring Lake to a 22-9 win over Lowell. Montgomery also had an assist in the game and was one of his team’s leading scorers this season.
- Danielle Eastman finished her Brooklyn Columbia Central career in Saturday’s Division 3 District Final – and among the leading scorers in MHSAA history. Her 84 points this season – on 63 goals and 21 assists – tied an MHSAA record set in 2014 by Leland’s Libby Munoz. Eastman finished third on the career points list with 216 over her four-season varsity career, with her 63 goals this season and 167 for her career also ranking third on those lists. She scored in 26 straight games including all 23 this season and dating to the final three of 2014. Eastman has signed to continue at Siena Heights University.
- Brooklyn Columbia Central’s Abbey Hatler had a strong performance against East Jackson on May 3 – in fact, she had an incredibly productive inning. Hatler finished 2 for 2 in the game, scoring three runs, and drove in six – enough to make the MHSAA list for RBI in one game. She also became the first entry for RBI in one inning – all six came during the first, when she had a grand slam and a double.
- New Baltimore Anchor Bay coach Jim Morisette won the 600th match of his career this season as his team finished 37-1, its best record in his 24 seasons of guidance. Morisette is 609-200 total after coaching Algonac from 1986-89 and then at Anchor Bay beginning with the 1991-92 season. The Tars advanced this winter to the MHSAA Division 2 Semifinals, losing by just a point to eventual runner-up Hartland.
PHOTO: Sault Ste. Marie's Nick LaCross reacts after getting hit by a pitch this season, one of 29 pitches that made contact with him as he tied a national record. (Photo courtesy of Sault Ste. Marie athletic department.)
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.