By Mitchell Boatman

Holton freshman Ryann Robins is putting together quite the season in her first year on the varsity softball diamond. She’s gotten it done at the plate and in the pitching circle all season for the powerful Red Devils squad.

But she hit a new peak on Friday in the first game of a doubleheader against White Cloud.

Robins did something that had only been done a dozen times before in Michigan high school softball history, according to the MHSAA record book. In a seven-inning game, she struck out 21 batters. That means every White Cloud out in the game was recorded by strikeout.

Holton’s Ryann Robins. Photo/Beth Olson

In recognition of her impressive feat, Robins is this week’s High School Hero of the Week.

“I didn’t know until after the second game when we were about to leave,” Robins said of her game. “I knew I went through the first three innings in order, just three batters. When I got to the fifth, I started struggling a bit, I gave up a walk and we had a couple errors. That happens.

“When I found out it felt kind of weird. I thought ‘Wow, I really just did that?’ My teammates said ‘Yeah, we didn’t get to field many balls today.’” 

Robins’ performance is a bit shy of the MHSAA record for strikeouts in a seven-inning game. There was one game with 24 Ks and one with 23. That must mean there were a few dropped third strikes, with the hitters reaching base, in those games.

Whatever the case, Robins couldn’t have done much better on Friday.

“Our pitch calls were really good,” she said. “My changeup was really good Friday, too. By the time the ball got to the plate, they were almost walking back to the dugout because they swung so early.”

The rest of this week’s Top 5 heroes:

2, Emma Jensen, Montague soccer. Jensen led an offense outburst for the Wildcats at the end of last week (more on that later). In an 11-0 win over Mason County Central Thursday, Jensen netted a hat trick, but that was just a warm up. Against Lakeview on Friday, Jensen scored four times to lead another 11-goal effort for the team. She also dished out three assists on the day.

3, Steve Cullen, Whitehall golf. Cullen ran away with the top score at the Wildcat Invitational at Old Channel Trail Golf Course last week. He shot a one-under-par 70, seven strokes ahead of the second place finisher from Lowell. Cullen’s big day on the links helped the Vikings win the invitational overall, as they outshot Lowell by seven strokes. 

4, Saga Peres, Fremont soccer. Peres was busy in the net Monday in a matchup with Newaygo, which entered the game with a 7-0-0 record. The Packers keeper made 18 saves in the net to earn a shutout as Fremont battled the Lions to a 0-0 draw. 

5, Kyah McGruther, Orchard View soccer. McGruther scored four goals and assisted on two more in an 8-0 win over Muskegon on Wednesday. She also had a two goal, one assist game in a 3-3 draw against Muskegon Catholic Central on Monday. 

News and notes from the week

A lot of people consider soccer a low-scoring sport, but looking at the Montague girls soccer team’s score sheets last week might change that perception. The Wildcats scored 11 goals in a game on back-to-back days Thursday and Friday. As noted above, Emma Jensen led the charge across the two games, but wasn’t the only standout.

Kendall Osborne totaled five goals and an assist, while Katie Weesies also scored five times between the two games. Payton Johnson tallied six assists, including four on Thursday.

The Reeths-Puffer baseball team was hot last week, as well. After entering the week with a 5-5 record, the Rockets ripped off a 5-0 week to improve to 10-5.

Reeths-Puffer started the week with a win 5-2 win over Holland, swept a doubleheader from Montague at Marsh Field on Friday and picked up wins over Whitehall and Spring Lake on Saturday.

Ryan Barmes pitched the games against Holland and Spring Lake, combining to toss 13 innings with no earned runs allowed and 23 combined strikeouts. Alex Johnson had a pair of three-hit games during the winning streak.