By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Farmington Hills Mercy advanced to this spring’s Division 1 Softball Semifinals on the bats of two powerful hitters – one a senior recently recognized as the best in Michigan this season, and the other a junior likely to be a candidate for the same award in 2016.
Alex Sobczak earned the Miss Softball position player award from the Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association and finished her fourth and final varsity season with five career totals in the MHSAA record listings – a .524 batting average, 40 doubles, 40 home runs, 210 runs scored and 112 walks. Her 40 home runs are fifth on that career list and include 17 she hit as a sophomore to tie for third on the single-season list for that category. Sobczak, Mercy’s catcher and leadoff hitter, will continue her career at the University of Michigan.
Teammate Abby Krzywiecki finished her third varsity season making the single-season home runs list with 12 and moving up the career list with 28 to tie for 19th with one more spring to play. She’s also in the MHSAA records four times with at least six RBI in a game plus hit three home runs in a game including two straight in a May 16 win over Mattawan. A first baseman, she’s approaching the career records lists in hits, RBI, batting average and doubles, and hit .574 this season.
As a team, Mercy again made MHSAA lists with 28 home runs this season and 254 RBI over 31 games.
Click the “Softball” heading below to see that sport's record listings in full, and read on for more of this week’s additions in baseball, boys lacrosse and girls lacrosse.
- Montague’s 21-9 finish this season included a handful of performances notable for record book inclusion. Junior Jacob Buchberger hit .583 with 11 triples to make those individual lists, while junior Cameron Brayman also made the triples list with eight – those two played large roles as the team finished with 20 triples to tie for third as a team on the single-season list. Junior pitcher Andrew Bobian joined an elite group, walking only five batters in 61 innings pitched. He finished 5-5 despite a 2.52 ERA.
- Mitchell Weber joined a group of players tied for 12th-most doubles in one season, hitting 21 in 37 games this spring. A senior, Weber hit .505 and will play next spring at Kellogg Community College.
- Kaydon Reimer made the single-season hit-by-pitch list with 15 as a junior for Hale, and finished his career in 2014 having been hit with 35 pitches total over four seasons to rank 11th on that career list.
- Nicholas Lucci continued his climb up the MHSAA career records lists in goals, assists and points with his best season this spring. The Bloomfield Hills junior had 69 goals and 43 assists for a combined 112 points – which tied for ninth on the season points list. He also made the single-game points list with 10 three times and the single-game goals list with eight against Walled Lake Central on March 25. His 221 career points rank 12th with a season to play.
- Amy Longe finished her four-season varsity career at Hartland as one of the leading scorers in MHSAA history and with 12 entries in the record book. She made the single-season goals list for the second time, this time with 80, and moved up to third on the career goals list with 254. She again made the single-season points list with 112 and moved up to fourth on the career list for that category with 319. Teammates Annelise Kulpanowski and Maddie Thornley both also made records listings multiple times for single-game assists and single-game saves, respectively.
- Caledonia as a team and freshman Samantha Gehrls among standouts created plenty of buzz this spring as the team advanced past the regional round for the first time, finishing Division 1 runner-up. Gehrls made the record book with seven RBI in a game against Jenison on April 22, and her 15 home runs on the season tied for eighth all-time. Total, Caledonia hit 49 homers – tied for second most by a team, drove in 322 runs to rank sixth on that list and made the team hits list with 429 over 39 games.
- Hudson’s Shian Beekel finished her career with a power-hitting season this spring for the Tigers, driving 23 doubles, which tied for seventh-most for one season. Beekel hit .494 total and also knocked eight home runs.
- Clinton Township Clintondale set a team record for wins in finishing 21-4, and senior Morgan Duda played a starring role. In addition to posting an 11-2 pitching record, she scored the third-most runs in MHSAA history (79), finished the seventh-longest hitting streak (32 games dating to 2014), made records listings with 19 doubles, 10 home runs, and eight RBI in one game and posted the eighth-highest batting average (.692). She will continue her career at Division II University of Minnesota-Crookston.
- Skylar Reed joined an impressive list of Howard City Tri-County players in the MHSAA records with 16 doubles this season, and Alexis Holappa made the list for RBI in a game for the second time, with six April 1 against Evart. They were joined by an older entry now verified – Theresa Dillon had 102 walks from 1983-86, the eighth most now and third most for a career when she graduated. As a team, Tri-County had 397 hits and 249 RBI this season in finishing 16-22.
PHOTO: Abby Krzywiecki (left) and Alex Sobczak teamed up to lead Mercy to a Division 1 Semifinal against Caledonia in June.