June 16, 2017
“Nothing but good can come from this, other than the expectations on me,” Catholic Central coach John Morningstar said jokingly. “It’s great for the program, and obviously brings more recognition to the school. It sets us on a course for something greater down the road.”
While both pitchers played great games, St. Mary Catholic Central got just enough to win. University of Michigan commit Meghan Beaubien was the hero on both ends for the Kestrels.
In the sixth inning, Beaubien scored the game’s first and only run. She started the inning with a leadoff triple and scored on an RBI double from Kelsey Barron.
“When Meghan got her hit I knew that I had to pull through, because we had nerves running through us,” Barron said. “I knew that if I could get the job done, everybody would settle down and everything would be good until the end of the game.”
Beaubien threw a complete-game shutout with 15 strikeouts and zero walks, while giving up just two hits. Shepherd’s Haley Peska was impressive as well; going 7 innings with six strikeouts, five hits, one walk and one run.
“In this game, it’s all about keeping hitters off-balance and never letting anybody sit on a pitch,” Morningstar said. “Moving it around the way Peska did, I thought she was very effective; she had us chasing a lot of pitches we wouldn’t normally swing at.”
Shepherd got a runner on third in both the sixth and seventh innings, but Beaubien was lights-out under pressure and ended both innings with strikeouts.
Dominance has become a standard for Beaubien’s career. Through 27 games this season, she has 145 2/3 innings pitched, 302 strikeouts and a 0.49 ERA; while giving up just 46 hits, 10 walks and eight earned runs.
“One run will go a long way when Beaubien’s on top of her game,” Morningstar said. “Her changeup locks your knees up, you don’t know what to do with it.”
Morningstar and his team expected a matchup with Millington in the semifinals, but Shepherd opened some eyes in its tournament run.
“Shepherd’s a team that nobody thought would be in the mix at this point,” Beaubien said. “They just played a great game and almost beat us. The experience here helps us mentally with our confidence.
“Tomorrow is my last game in high school and I don’t think its really hit me yet, it’s a little weird. I just want to go out there and make the last game of my career end on a state championship.”