County softball players dominate D-4 first team all-state list

Meyers named all-state pitcher again; smashes several records

by Peter Jakey–Managing Editor

Ashley Meyers capped an amazing softball career at Posen High School as a first team all-state pitcher for the second straight year and finished with some records that rank among the best to play the game. She also was a Division 4 candidate for Miss Softball.

What separated Meyers from other Division 4 pitchers was her prowess at the plate; however, the award is based on pitching only.

Meyers had a single-season batting average of .705 and is the first in the history of the Posen softball program to eclipse .700. Only two players had ever had a batting average (BA) above .600. The first was Christina Bednarski at .603, while the second was Meyers last year at .676. Her career batting average ended up being .515, making her the first with a career BA above .500.  The .705 BA puts her seventh on the Michigan High School Association (MHSAA) record board.

Meyers claimed eight career and four season records. Her 223 runs batted in ranks second on the MHSAA record board behind Kelly Kennedy of Taylor, Light & Life Christian, who had 304 from 1991 to 94.

“I think a lot of the records will stand for a long time,” said Viking softball coach Glenn Budnick. “It is an attribute to her hard work. When you put in the time, you expect the numbers to follow.”

Budnick said Meyers dedicated herself to softball, even during the off-season. She would pitch to her coach in Alpena once a week in the winter.

“She played a lot of travel ball, and it was a commitment by her as well as her parents Tom and Dee,” added Budnick. “There is nothing that myself or Greg Pietsch did as coaches that made her into the success she was. We just fined tune things. It was the hard work she put in both during the season and the off-season that led to her success.”

Meyers, who will continue her career at Alpena Community College, shared all-region honors with junior catcher Amy Buczkowski.

Meyers’ 22 homers put her at 21st on the MHSAA record board.

“I think she was one of the best all around players in Division 4,” said Budnick. “She is deserving because of all the hard work she put in. Ashley wasn’t somebody who picked the ball up in March. She worked year-around.”

Meyers’ other career records include: 245 hits; 485 innings pitched; .97 earned run average (ERA); 645 strikeouts; 72 wins. Her season marks: 224 strikoeuts; .90 ERA (2014); nine homers.

 

Rogers City’s infielders earn all-state honors

An infield that led the way to a Division 4 softball state title made all-state.

Around the horn from catcher around to third, the Huron softball program had five players on the Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association (MHSSCA) all-state team. They include sophomore catcher Sarah Meredith, senior first baseman Morgan Hall, junior second baseman Alexa Quaine, senior shortstop Courtney Streich and junior third baseman Logan Fleming.

“Our infield was incredible this year,” said coach Karl Grambau, who was named all-district and all-region coach of the year.

The only player missing from the all-state infield is the winning pitcher in the state title game, senior Nikki Radke, who was just as deserving; however, schools are only allowed to have five.

Hall, who was a four-year starter at first, was second in batting with a .532 batting average (BA) and shined at the plate in the finals. She was third in runs scored with 52. She also made all the plays at first.

“She improved every year,” said Grambau. “One of her individual goals was to reach all-state and she did everything she could to be the best she could be to help the team. She was a team first, me second type of girl.”

Hall had five homers and 38 RBI.

For Streich, it was easy for other coaches to notice that cannon of a right arm.

The four-year starter, who played nearly every game at the position, wiped out a lot of potential infield hits that would have been hits with any other shortstop playing.

“Courtney was the best at relaying the ball that I have ever seen,” said Grambau. “She could bring it to home or third so fast.” She also picked off a couple of runners that overran first.

Streich batted .433, hit four home runs, and knocked in 37. She also had the clutch hit in the regional semifinal against Rapid River to keep the tournament run going.

 

Fleming led the team with 70 hits and 68 runs scored and ripped eight homers. She adds a speed dynamic that is tough to defend.

Grambau said Fleming ranks right up there among the great third basemen who have played for the orange and black. She could become the first softball player in school history to earn all-state all four years.

“Just a gifted athlete,” said Grambau. “Logan is such a hustler. The thing about Logan is, she never gets down, and sets such a great example for the rest of the team.”

 

Quaine had a tremendous tournament run at the plate. No hit was bigger than the double that drove in Hall from first to deliver the go-ahead run in the state championship game. She had a .491 BA, 54 hits 4 homers and 15 doubles, which was second on the team.

“She just got better and better,” said Grambau.

Defensively, she made a tough catch in the Kalamazoo Christian game when she collided with two teammates. She also made several put outs in the quarterfinal game against Central Lake.

 

Meredith led the team with 14 home runs and could leave a lasting mark on the Michigan High School Athletic Association record book. She led the team with a .533 BA and 66 RBI.

“She loves the game of softball,” said Grambau. “I don’t know if I ever seen a stronger arm out of a catcher, anywhere in the state. She has picked off so many runners.”

The same group of girls made all-region, but included Radke, who was 19-4 with a 2.34 ERA with 80 strikeouts.  Grambau said it is the first year the rule about having only five players on the all-state team was in place.

The MHSCA is the only organization to honor softball athletes with all-state postseason awards.