High 5s - 4/17/12
High 5s - 4/17/12
Baseball, Boys Golf, Softball
Posted Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Each week, Second Half gives "High 5s" to multiple athletes and a team that have performed exceptionally on the field or made a notable impact off of it.

Please offer your suggestions by e-mail to Geoff@mhsaa.com. Below are this week's honorees:

Sarah Appold

Saginaw Valley Lutheran senior

Softball

Appold is putting the final touches on a career that places her among the best ever at Saginaw Valley Lutheran. She holds multiple Chargers strikeout records and appears three times in the MHSAA record book for strikeouts in a game -- her best of 15 in a 2010 contest is tied for fifth-best in MHSAA history. Appold is 2-0 this season with batters hitting just .098 against her. She's also earned all-state recognition for volleyball and basketball this school year.

Up next: Appold has signed to play softball at Saginaw Valley State University and intends to study nursing.

I learned the most about pitching from: "Probably my dad, Randy Appold. He was pitching coach up until my seventh grade year. And Doug Gillis (out of Wixom), my pitching coach now."

My favorite athletes are: Detroit Tigers Austin Jackson and Justin Verlander. "My parents always took me to Tigers games when I was little, and I like watching them."

Try to keep up: Although Appold has never pitched to her baseball-playing friends, a few have caught her. "I've had a lot of people since freshman year ask me to pitch against them, to see how they'd do. I think I'd handle myself against them. ... There's a lot of different movement (to softball pitches)."

Nick Stiles

Bath senior

Baseball

Stiles is finishing up an all-state career for the Bees that included a trip to the Division 3 Semifinals in 2010. He's currently tied with former standout Brennan Powers for Bath's career pitching wins record with 33, enough to also get him on the MHSAA record book list in that category. Stiles is 2-0 this season and has yet to give up an earned run -- including over 10 innings Monday, although he didn't get a decision in either game that afternoon. He also plays center field.

Up next: Stiles said a few colleges said they'd like to watch him this season before offering a scholarship. Also his school's valedictorian, Stiles, has been accepted by Michigan State and could go there as a student only. He'd major in human biology with an eye on becoming an orthopedic surgeon -- which began to interest him after he suffered an ankle injury as a sophomore. He also might consider walking-on at MSU or playing on the club team.

My best pitch is: "My fastball. I've got the most control over it. I can put it pretty much anywhere I want."

I learned the most about pitching from:
"My 14-and-under baseball coach Dave Morena. He had a certain way of doing things, and he knew what he was talking about. He taught me pretty much everything I know."

I look up to: "Justin Verlander. He works fast. He does throw his fastball a lot too. He's confident in his other pitches, but he likes to go to his fastball."

My career highlight: "The state Semifinal run. Records are records, made to be broken and all of that nonsense. But the run of the team; we weren't expected to do it, and the whole town followed us. Even though we lost, it was a great experience."

Grand Rapids West Catholic boys golf

After falling just five strokes short of winning the Kent County Classic on April 12 at The Highlands (behind top-ranked Division 1 Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central), West Catholic took on some of the state's top Division 2 and 3 teams the next day at Michigan State's Forest Akers East -- and edged reigning Division 2 champion DeWitt by a stroke with a 303 to win the Haslett Invitational.

The Forest Akers field including Division 2 Nos. 1 and 2 DeWitt and Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood, respectively, and Division 3 No. 1 Jackson Lumen Christi and No. 9 Hanover-Horton -- with West Catholic ranked No. 4 in Division 3 entering the tournament. Junior Sam Weatherhead was medalist at both the Kent County Classic and Haslett Invitational, shooting 68 and 69, respectively, to win by four and three strokes.


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