June 17, 2017
EAST LANSING – It was a fitting end to Saturday’s Division 3 softball state title game as Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central pitcher Meghan Beaubien did what she had done numerous times throughout her storied career.
The senior ace – a University of Michigan recruit – got Napoleon‘s final batter to swing away for her 16th strikeout of the game, as the top ranked Kestrels defeated the Pirates 13-1 for their third consecutive state championship.
“To come into the program and leave it with three state championships and to leave our mark,” Beaubien said. “Knowing we left the program better than we found it means a lot.”
In addition to her 16 strikeouts, Beaubien also had a perfect day in the batter’s box going 3-for-3 with three RBIs, two walks and a triple. The future Wolverine not only ends her career as a three-time state champion, but as three-time Gatorade State Player of the Year. Beaubien will play softball for the Wolverines as well as study biomedical engineering next year.
“Four years of high school were great as well as three state championships,” Beaubien said. “But every good thing comes to end and I’m ready for the next level and to go after some championships up there.”
After two scoreless innings on both sides, MSMCC got its offense going in a big way with a six-run third inning to blow the game open. After drawing walks from its first two batters, Monroe St. Mary would get a two-RBI triple from Beaubien to strike first. An error, one of seven on the day for Napoleon, scored Beaubien. Fellow senior Grace Mikesell batted in two more runs on her double to left field.
The Pirates got a run in the bottom half of the inning on senior outfielder Dylan Wiley‘s single, which she extended all the way to home on a throwing error. That run ended the Kestrels’ ace pitcher’s run of shutouts in state title games, as Beaubien had thrown two shutouts in MSMCC’s two prior championships.
Monroe St. Mary went on to add three more runs in the fourth, a single run in the fifth and three in the seventh before claiming the title. The win brings MSMCC coach John Morningstar’s career record at the school to 90-13 in three years.
“To do it once, a lot of people strive to do it and some never do,” Morningstar said. “To do it twice is amazing and a third time is just surreal.
“We’ve taken a young group of kids and they have gotten better each and every season.”
Although everyone on MSMCC’s side was all smiles at the end of the game, there was a scare in the third inning as catcher Kenna Garst went down with what Morningstar called a high ankle sprain. The catcher tried to remain in the game, but a play at home plate would end her day as sophomore Brooke Angerer took over behind the dish for the remainder of the game.
“Brooke is a highly skilled travel ball catcher herself,” Morningstar said. “She understands the role of what she needs to do, but she hadn’t caught Beaubien too much so she had to change her approach a bit.
“We think it’s a high ankle sprain,” Morningstar said about Garst’s injury. “No Achilles or MCL. The trainer was pretty confident we could rule both those out. She just tweaked her ankle jumping out of her squat.”
Shortly after the game ended, rain began to fall on Secchia Stadium in East Lansing, but no amount of rain would dampen the spirits of Monroe St. Mary following a state title three-peat.