• Michigan

Three Rivers’ Kali Heivilin breaks MHSAA single-season HR record, as home run chase heads into postseason

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, June 3, 2021, 1:02 am

There is a new single-season home run record holder in Michigan High School softball.

And it’s Three Rivers’ Kali Heivilin. For now.

With three homers in a doubleheader against Berrien Springs on Wednesday, the Alabama commit passed competitor Kendra VanderLugt of Otsego — who’d tied the old record of 26 on Tuesday against Berrien Springs — and took the lead in the home run chase with a total of 28.

Coming in with 25 after hitting one against Schoolcraft Tuesday, Heivilin hit one out in her first plate appearance to tie the old record, set by L’Anse Creuse’s Brooke Nadolny and Schoolcraft’s Lydia Goble in 2018, then hit a three-run shot in the fourth to move past those two and VanderLugt. Heivilin led off the seventh inning of the nightcap with a third home run on the night.

Nobody at the MHSAA should carve the record in stone, just yet, though. 

It could still change hands again, and the total may just continue to rise the longer the competitors — VanderLugt, Heivilin and South Lyon East’s Lauren Sciborski, who has 22 — keep playing in the postseason. 

Each of the three — all contestants in our Total Softball Player of the Year contest [VOTE HERE] — are headed to Saturday’s district semifinals.

VanderLugt’s Otsego squad will be at the Division 2 district at Wayland, taking on Hopkins at 10 a.m. Wayland and Plainwell are on the other side of the bracket. 

Three Rivers and Heivilin take on D2 district host Edwardsburg at noon, with the winner facing the winner of the earlier Niles/Dowagiac semifinal. 

Sciborski’s Cougars will take on Plymouth at noon in the Division 1 district at Northville. If they advance, they’ll get the winner of the earlier semifinal between South Lyon and Salem. 

The players will continue to march up the career home run list, as well.

Her 28 home runs as a senior, added to the 18 as a freshman and 19 as a sophomore, give Heivilin a three-year career total of 65, just eight shy of Nadolny’s state record 73. The 26 homers by VanderLugt puts her at 49 career dingers, tied for fifth-most in state history.

Neither player had a junior season, so conceivably, they could’ve finished 1 and 2 in state history.

Other records could still fall. 

With 85 runs scored so far this season, Heivilin is just three shy of matching her own state record for single-season runs (88) set her sophomore season, as well.