In Play with Tom Markowski

Beaubien tosses 1-hitter, St. Mary C.C. defeats University Liggett, 5-0, in a quarterfinal

Softball   | Tom Markowski

State Champs! Sports Network

 

 

Carleton – When players reached this point of the season, the quarterfinal round, nerves often are frayed.

Meghan Beaubien has been here before and her experience showed as she tripled to open the game and scored on a Kenna Garst single. As it turned out, that’s all Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central would need.

Near-perfect once again, Beaubien faced the minimum 21 batters and gave up one scratch hit as top-ranked St. Mary C.C. defeated No. 2-ranked Grosse Pointe University Liggett 5-0 in a Division 3 quarterfinal at Carleton Airport on Tuesday.

“It was a good way to start the game,” Beaubien said. “I had a bad swing on my first one. With two strikes I went after one, I think it was out of the strike zone. It was pretty high.”

St. Mary C.C. (25-3), the two-time defending state champion, will play Shepherd in a semifinal on Friday at Michigan State at 3 p.m. Shepherd defeated Millington, 5-0, in its quarterfinal.

Beaubien (21-1), who signed with Michigan, was splendid retiring the first 14 batters before allowing an infield single. She struck out eight and kept the University Liggett batters off balance with a wicked changeup.

Beaubien’s dominance goes beyond the physical aspect of the game. She plots out her game-plan a day or two in advance then makes her adjustments. Few can match Beaubien’s mental toughness.

“Yeah, I liked (the changeup),” Beaubien said. “I’ve seen most of their hitters before. I’ll throw it whenever I like. I like to throw it on the first pitch. People go up there and are looking for the fastball.

“I do (have a game plan). If it’s a hitter I’ve seen before, yes. I kind of size them up. I’ll look at their warmup swings and see what type of swing they like.

“I kind of think a couple of pitches ahead. If I’m 1-2 or 0-2 on a batter I’ll set a hitter up with the next pitch.”

The Kestrels gave Beaubien plenty of support at the plate and played well defensively. Garst went 4-4 with a double and two RBI. Brook Barton had two hits and scored a run on a wild pitch, and the Kestrels scored two runs in the seventh on three hits and a throwing error.

St. Mary C.C. stole four bases, two by Garst, and had two sacrifice bunts.

Emma St. John, who signed with Detroit Mercy, went the distance for University Liggett (22-3). She struck out five and gave up three earned runs.

St. Mary C.C. coach John Morningstar said Beaubien was on her game, changing pitches and working the strike zone, high and low.

“She’s such a discipline kid,” he said. “She recovers so well. She could be behind 2-0 or 3-1 and she just bears down.

“People think its Xs and Os. It’s a full-time job coaching the emotional aspect. Her mind is like a steal trap. It’s all about her approach.”