By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Vicksburg’s runs to back-to-back District titles – and the Division 2 championship game last spring – were keyed by a productive offense, including contributions by a pair who are seniors this spring.
Shaidan Knapp and Grace Stock both are entered into the MHSAA record book for single-season doubles from the last two seasons and for career doubles with a season to play – Stock has 39 and Knapp has 49, both over three seasons and 116 games. Knapp also ranks on the career RBI list with 188.
As a team, Vicksburg made the single-season wins list finishing 36-9 last season, when it had the second-most hits in MHSAA history with 522 over 45 games. The 2015 and 2016 teams are listed for various team accomplishments, also most notably for 366 RBI (third all-time) in 2016 and a .460 batting average (tied for second all-time) in 2015.
Click the softball heading below to see that record book in full, and also read on for more recent additions in boys basketball, football, boys soccer and volleyball.
Nearly two decades have passed since Rojelio Parra-Grady scored 49 points for Dearborn Fordson in its 2001 Class A District Final win over Allen Park. His total tied for ninth-most points in an MHSAA Tournament game at any level. He scored 15 points in the fourth quarter of the 76-49 win and made six 3-pointers in the game.
Ithaca kicker Adam Culp is climbing the charts for his position with a season yet to play. Culp made the single-season extra-point list with 59 as a sophomore and 46 this past fall as a junior, and his 105 career extra points also already rank among the best. Culp also had nine field goals in 11 attempts last season. Teammate Joey Bentley, also a junior, was added after throwing for 2,056 yards in 12 games in the fall.
Paul Verska finished a coaching career spanning four decades in 2015 with a record of 218-174-1 at seven Michigan schools – Lincoln Alcona, Allegan, Detroit Servite, Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard, Cadillac, Ann Arbor Huron and Warren DeLaSalle. He finished with the Pilots, taking over in 2002 and leading them to the Division 2 title in 2014.
Marshall goalkeeper Kurt Kraushaar finished his high school career in the fall with 22 shutouts over four seasons to make the MHSAA career list in that category. He also made the single-season list as a junior in 2015 with 13 shutouts.
Grand Ledge finished 10-2-5 in the fall in part because of a strong defense; its seven goals given up tied for fourth-fewest in one season. Keeper Blaine Teahan also made the MHSAA records with a stretch of six straight shutouts from Aug. 20-Sept. 14.
Last season was a record-setting one for Coleman and a group of four-year varsity seniors. As a team, the Comets finished 39-3, setting MHSAA single-season records with 555 hits and 432 runs batted in, while tying for second with a .460 batting average and ranking second all-time alone with 510 runs scored in reaching the Division 4 Quarterfinals. Six players combined for 22 individual record book entries. Now-graduated Cassidy Tucker made the lists for 84 runs, 78 hits and 13 home runs in a season and 178 runs and 23 triples over her career (plus seven RBI in one game last May). Her 84 runs last spring were second-most in MHSAA history. Carley Starnes also made the single-season runs list with 74 and career lists with 224 runs, 231 hits and 34 doubles; and Grace Staley was added for 73 runs last season, 200 in her career, 81 hits last season and 238 in her career. Senior Laken Berthume had 71 RBI last season, 165 in her career and walked 77 times over four varsity seasons. Senior Kaylie Scott put together a 33-game hitting streak that stretched over nearly a year from May 2015-May 2016, while freshman MacKenzie Miller was among those added for six RBI in a game. Tucker is playing at Alma College and Starnes and Berthume are playing at Delta College.
Kalamazoo Christian has played in three MHSAA Finals over the last decade, and a number of entries from that time also were added. Kara Gjeltema, a senior last spring, was entered 18 times, most notably for 40 career home runs (tied for sixth most), 71 RBI in 2015 (tied for 11th) and 238 career RBI (tied for second). Also-2016 senior McKena Razenberg was added for 66 runs in 2015 and 180 over her four-year career, while 2014 graduate Tori Sides was added for 77 hits in 2014, 230 during her career and 183 career runs. Stephanie VanderLugt (class of 2013), Katie Dwyer (2009), Alex Hatfield (2005), Megan Rozeveld and Hannah Doorn also were added at least once; Hatfield’s 35 career triples are tied for fifth most. Kalamazoo Christian as a team earned 15 entries, with its 32 triples in 1999 (tied for 10th) most notable. Gjeltema is playing this season at Olivet College, while Razenberg is at Cornerstone, Sides played for Kellogg Community College, Dwyer for Huntington University (Ind.) and Rozeveld at Calvin College.
Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard seniors Jurnee Tipton and Emma Nowak capped outstanding careers in the fall with record book-worthy totals in their final match, a 3-2 Regional Final loss to Adrian. Tipton had 40 kills, which tied for the seventh-most in one match since the beginning of the rally scoring era in 2004-05. Nowak had 63 assists, which tied for fourth-most in that category. Tipton will continue her volleyball career at Howard University.
Frankenmuth setter Lindsey Mertz never made the MHSAA single-season assists list during her four-year varsity career (needing a minimum of 1,200 to do so). But combined, her four seasons of more than 1,000 assists added up to 4,436 – the third-most for a career during the rally scoring era. Mertz will play next season at Hillsdale College.
PHOTO: Vicksburg shortstop Shaidan Knapp prepares to make a throw during last season’s Division 2 Final at Secchia Stadium.
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.