Softball Top 25 Players Preview: Beaubien of St. Mary Catholic Central tops our list
1. Meghan Beaubien, p, sr., Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central: Beaubien signed with Michigan. A four-year starter, Beaubien led her team to the Division 3 title each of the past two seasons. Beaubien is lefthander who was 22-1 last season and in 150 innings she had 308 strikeouts. She batted .482. In the semifinal last season Beaubien threw a five-inning, perfect game. “She’s very intelligent,” coach John Morningstar said. “She thinks practically and logically.”
2. Kendahl Dunford, p, sr., Macomb Dakota: Dunford signed with Florida International. Dunford led the Cougars to their first state final as she compiled a 35-3 record. She bats in the meat of Dakota’s lineup and she hit seven home runs last season. “Mentally she’s improved her game,” coach Rick Fontaine said. “She’s more confident, more relaxed.”
3. Maya Kipfmiller, p, sr., Midland: Kipfmiller signed with Boston University. Kipfmiller had a fabulous junior season as she had 23 doubles and 83 base hits, both tie her for eighth all-time in a single season. Her .664 batting average places her in a tie for 14th all time. A four-year starter, Kipfmiller has a grade-point average over a 4.0 and she’s an excellent pitcher. She gave up one earned run in a 4-2 loss to Macomb Dakota in a Division 1 semifinal. “She throws hard and has great control,” coach Robin Allen said.
4. Joanna Bartz, 3b, sr., Mattawan: Bartz signed with Michigan State. Bartz was named to the first team Division 1 all-state the past two seasons. She batted .482 with 55 RBI, eight home runs, 14 doubles and 53 runs scored. “She hits for power and is consistent at the plate,” coach Alicia Smith said. “She’s got a great arm. She used to be a catcher.”
5. Jenny Bressler, p, jr., Plymouth: Bressler committed to Texas-Arlington. Bressler started as a freshman and she will also see time on the right side of the infield. Bressler is a good athlete who fields her position well. Bressler was 19-4 with a 1.07 ERA. In 176 innings she struck out 265. She batted .371 (33-89). “Jenny is a pitcher who I can put at any position,” coach Lauren Delapaz said. “She’s hit in the top five of our lineup since her freshman year.”
6. Sammie Gehrls, p, jr., Caledonia: Gehrls committed to Grand Valley State. Gehrls intends to play basketball and softball in college. Last season she had a 1.50 ERA after leading her team to the Division 1 final as a freshman. She’s hit 25 home runs in her career. “She has more confidence this season,” coach Tom Kaechele said. “And her core strength is better.”
7. Morgan Overatis, if, jr., Salem: Committed to Michigan. A first team all-state selection the last two seasons, Overaitis led her team in numerous categories last season including RBI (55), runs (59), base hits (80) and average (.602). She had 15 doubles, nine triples and eight home runs. “Talent-wise, she’s outstanding,” coach Bonnie Southerland said. “She has tremendous knowledge of the game and has great range.”
8. Sophie VanAcker, of-2b, sr., Farmington Hills Mercy: VanAcker signed with Lehigh. VanAcker batted .532 (82-154) with 57 runs scored and 24 RBI. She stole 13 bases and struck out 12 times in 172 plate appearances. “Two things about Sophie this year,” coach Alec Lesko said. “Her defensive skills have improved and her leadership qualities are better.”
9. Hannah Carson, c-of, jr., Mount Pleasant: Committed to with Michigan. Carson was a player of the year candidate last season. Her sophomore season she hit .550 with eight home runs, eight triples and 23 doubles. Carson batted leadoff a year ago and coach Ted McIntyre could move her around in the lineup. “She’s a physically strong player and a great teammate,” McIntyre said.
10. Paige Blevins, ss, jr., Clarkston: Committed to Central Michigan. A three-year starter, Blevins has a strong throwing arm and a tremendous work ethic. Blevins batted .513 last season with 56 RBI, 49 runs scored and a school record 11 home runs. Blevins had a .991 slugging percentage.
11. Logan Carter, c, sr., Fenton: A four-year starter, Carter signed with Western Michigan. A power hitter, Carter bats cleanup for a team that won the Flint Metro league title.
12. Carley Barjaktarovich, ss, jr., Richmond: Barjaktarovich committed to Lehigh. She bats leadoff and last season she hit .620. “She’s a dream to work with,” coach Howard Stuart said.
13. Nikki Sorgi, p/of/if, sr., Utica Ford: Sorgi signed with Bowling Green and she’ll likely be an everyday player for the Falcons. Last season Sorgi hit .438 with 31 RBI.
14. Emily Koperdak, p/2b, jr., Mattawan: Koperdak committed to Northern Kentucky. A terrific athlete, Koperdak has been Mattawan’s ace since her freshman season and she has a chance to become one of the top pitchers in school history.
15. Olivia Shinrock, 1b/of, sr., St. Joseph: A four-year varsity player, Shinrock has yet to decide on a college. Last season she hit .505 with 15 home runs and 10 doubles. Shinrock is also a fine volleyball player.
16. Madison French, p, sr., Waterford Kettering: French signed with Bowling Green. As a junior she batted .580 and she uses a variety of pitches on the mound.
17. Hannah Bunker, 2b, sr., Walled Lake Northern: A four-year starter, Bunker signed with Massachusetts. She’s a leadoff hitter with speed. Last season she batted. 480 with 30 stolen bases.
18. Madison Jones, ss, sr., Romeo: Jones signed with Oakland. A third baseman in the past, Jones is quick afoot. She hit .500 last season and had 12 home runs.
19. Sammi Howell, p, sr., Allen Park: A three-year starter, Howell signed with Central Michigan. She was 22-4 last season and she bats cleanup.
20. Alexis Taube, ss, sr., Mattawan: Taube signed with Kent State. A four-year starter, Taube has tremendous bat speed and a terrific arm.
21. Shaidan Knapp, ss, sr., Vicksburg: A four-year starter, Knapp signed with Central Michigan. She batted .486 last season and was second on her team in RBI.
22. Carlie Kudary, cf, sr., Vicksburg: A four-year starter, Kudary signed Missouri-St. Louis. She bats leadoff and last season Kudary hit .575.
23. Madison Cole, of, sr., Portage Central: A four-year starter, Cole signed with Rutgers. Her averaged has dropped a bit over the past two seasons but Cole still hit. 385 last season.
24. Grace Stock, c, sr., Vicksburg: Stock has yet to commit to a college. Last season she hit .523 and led Vicksburg with 60 RBI.
25. Becca Curtis, c, sr., Saginaw Swan Valley: One of a handful of solid players for coach Tom Kennelly, Curtis signed with Lansing Community College. Last season Curtis hit .500.