Out of Left Field with Matt Mowery


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SOFTBALL NOTEBOOK: Lake Orion’s Tessa Nuss, Grandville’s Maddi Ungrey slide into MHSAA record book

By: Matthew B. Mowery, May 13, 2019, 4:20 pm

It’s fitting that the record came in a very typical inning for Tessa Nuss.

In the top of the first inning of Saturday’s game against Negaunee at the Petoskey tournament, the Lake Orion leadoff hitter reached on an infield single, then proceeded to steal second and third, before scoring on a groundout by Hailey Melchert. 

In her few minutes on the base paths that inning, though, Nuss became the state of Michigan’s all-time leader in consecutive stolen bases, passing the previous record of 112 set by Lansing Catholic’s Mikayla Sanford last season. (For more on Nuss’ pursuit of the record, READ HERE.)

Nuss, who wound up with 115 steals after the weekend’s action, has never been thrown out in high school. She’d stolen 85 consecutive bags coming into the season, and has 30 this season after 41 last year. 

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations record book, only three players nationwide have ever had a longer successful streak than the one Nuss has now — Palmetto (Fla.) High’s Shelly Riker (131), Danville (Ala.) High’s Kristy Roberts (151) and Carlisle (Iowa) High’s Annesa Conrad (158).

The Dragons went 5-0 up north over the weekend, beating Traverse City West 8-2 on Friday, then going 4-0 — beating Country Day (11-4), Negaunee (11-2), Onaway (6-3) and Richmond (7-0) — to win the Petoskey tournament title. 


Ungrey records 3-homer game

Nuss wasn’t the only prep player clearing themselves a spot in the MHSAA record book on Saturday. Grandville’s Maddi Ungrey hit three solo home runs in a 7-0 win over tournament host Swartz Creek.

Only one player — Detroit Kettering’s Courtney Robinson (4 HRs vs. Detroit Denby, April 29, 1999) — has hit more home runs in a single game, while the record book lists 42 other instances where a player has hit three in a single game, including one other Grandville player: Nikoma Holmen vs. East Kentwood on April 26, 2017.

Grandville beat Bay City Central, 7-2, and Traverse City Central, 18-8, to finish a 3-0 day at Swartz Creek, and move its record to 19-2 on the season.


Murphy’s offensive prowess

Farmington Hills Mercy went 4-0 at the Hits for Heroes Tournament in Woodhaven, beating Grosse Pointe South (14-0, 5 inn.), Ida (13-2, 6 inn.), Trenton (8-4, 5 inn.) and Riverview (7-6) to take the tourney title. 

If there was an MVP of the Marlins’ offensive display, it had to be Maggie Murphy, who was 12-for-13 on the afternoon (.923 average, 1.846 slugging, 2.779 OPS) driving in 12 runs. In four games, Murphy had two walks (one intentional), five singles, four doubles, one triple and two home runs.


Finally, some pitching

There WERE some good pitching performances on Saturday.

Howell’s Molly Carney and Avrey Wolverton combined to give up just five hits in 19 shutout innings of work at the Royal Oak Fred Pieper tournament. (READ MORE HERE.)

Rachel Everett threw a two-hit shutout for Hartland in a 1-0 win over the host Lions at the South Lyon quad. (READ MORE HERE.)

Elsewhere, Canton’s Anna Halliday threw a five-inning perfect game in a 10-0 win over Belleville.

Escanaba’s Gabi Salo threw a perfect game in a 7-0 win over Gladstone.

On Friday, Kendall Klochack of Grand Blanc threw a no-hitter in a 7-0 win over Ogemaw Heights, while Gull Lake’s Lauren Esman threw a 1-hit shutout, striking out 15 in a 5-0 win over Parma Western.