By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
The Farmington Hills Mercy softball team enjoyed one of the winningest seasons in MHSAA history this spring bolstered by one of most accomplished hitters ever to step into the batter’s box in this state.
The Marlins finished 43-2 – tying for third-most wins in a season – and won their first MHSAA title, clinching in Division 1. Meanwhile, senior Abby Krzywiecki hit a single-season record 20 home runs to go with 18 more listings in the MHSAA record book as she finished her high school career.
Her 82 runs this spring are tied for eighth-most, her 48 career home runs are second on that list, her 94 RBI this season sit third most and her 238 career RBI place second on that list. She was named Miss Softball as the top position player in 2016 and will continue her career at South Alabama.
Two teammates also made the MHSAA records this spring; junior Sophie Van Acker with 82 hits and sophomore Anna Dixon with 72. The team’s 510 hits were second-most in MHSAA history and only two off the record.
Click to see where all three rank in the MHSAA softball record book, and see below for other recent additions in softball, baseball, girls soccer and boys lacrosse. (Click on the sport heading to see those record books in full.)
Traverse City West celebrated its most successful season this spring, including its first trip to the MHSAA Semifinals, and tied for seventh-most wins in a season in MHSAA history with a final 41-3 record. The Titans also made the team record lists with 431 hits, 427 runs, 361 RBI and a .369 team average, and their 70 times hit by pitch were second-most for one season. Individually, senior Alex Strickland was added for 74 RBI this spring and senior Nick Brzezinski for 73 hits, 68 runs and eight triples. Brzezinski will continue at Aquinas College this fall.
Austin Putman earned two record book entries with three home runs against Suttons Bay on May 12. The Charlevoix senior not only made the list for most homers in one game, but also for most in consecutive at bats tying for eighth on that list by hitting them in three straight plate appearances as his team won 7-4.
Dearborn Fordson senior Hassan Jaafar made his way around the bases quite a bit during a 13-12 win over Dearborn Henry Ford Academy on April 13. Jaafar stole seven bases, tying for second most in one game and ending up just one shy of tying the MHSAA record.
Detroit Country Day’s back-to-back MHSAA Semifinal runs the last two seasons were led by a foursome of standouts who are now all over the MHSAA record book for the sport. Emilio Sosa graduated in 2015 and now has five entries including 181 goals, seventh most. Cooper Belanger was a senior this spring and is listed 10 times, most notably for 317 career points, which rank sixth on that list, and 149 career assists, which rank fourth. David Pohl’s three entries before graduating in 2015 included tying for second-most assists in a game, nine, against East Grand Rapids his senior season, and 116 career assists that tie for eighth. And goalie Jackson White finished up this spring with 11 entries including four seasons on the single-season saves list – his 257 in 2015 rank second – and 872 career saves, which also rank second. Sosa played this spring at Kenyon College in Ohio, and Belanger is slated to begin his collegiate career this fall at Colgate in New York.
New Baltimore Anchor Bay’s William Moses joined the single-game scoring list in April. The recent graduate netted eight goals in a 16-1 win over Warren Mott to break his school’s record by two goals.
Fenton goalkeeper Abby Quesnelle earned her second entry for shutouts in one season with 13 this spring as a junior in 24 games to go with 15 shutouts as a sophomore in 2015. Fenton reached the Regional Final in Division 2 before falling to eventual MHSAA champion Pontiac Notre Dame Prep.
Her team may have fallen 3-0, but Jennifer Gutierrez did her part to keep Caro close to Millington on May 4. The recently-graduated keeper had an MHSAA record 50 saves for the Tigers as the Cardinals put 53 shots on goal.
Lauren Kanai was perfect in her team’s 17-0 five-inning win over Greenville on May 19 – the Ada Forest Hills Eastern junior pitcher tossed the perfect game in part by striking out 14 of 15 batters faced to make the MHSAA list for most strikeouts in a five-inning game. She also had two RBI.
Howell’s Veronica Pezzoni is a perfect 75 of 75 on stolen base attempts over the last two seasons, good for the fourth-longest streak in MHSAA history. The senior-to-be needs only 25 more without getting caught to set the MHSAA record. Junior teammate Jordan Humitz also made the MHSAA records with 13 home runs this spring. Howell as a team made lists in multiple categories over the last two seasons – with 454 hits, 93 doubles, 339 RBI and a .400 team batting average in 2015 when it finished 32-9-1; and for 493 hits, 93 doubles, a .415 average and 330 RBI this spring in finishing 30-11.
PHOTO: Farmington Hills Mercy's Abby Krzywiecki steps in against Macomb Dakota during this spring's Division 1 Final.