Shepherd Falls to Defending Champ St. Mary in D3 Semis

EAST LANSING – The Shepherd softball program’s run to the MHSAA Division 3 state semifinals came to an end Friday at Michigan State.

Appearing in its first semifinal since 1997, the Bluejays dropped a 1-0 contest to two-time defending state champion Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central.

Just three days after throwing a perfect game against No. 4 Millington in a 5-0 quarterfinal win, Shepherd junior ace Haley Peska was brilliant in the circle against the top-ranked team. Peska allowed just the one earned run on five hits while out six and walking one.

After the two teams combined to go hitless through the first three innings, St. Mary finally cracked the scoreboard in the top of sixth when Kelsey Barron drove in Meghan Beaubien, who opened the inning with a triple.

After tossing a pair of perfect games at last year’s state finals, University of Michigan commit Beaubien was in command throughout the day for the Kestrels (26-3). The junior gave up just two hits and fanned 15 while not allowing a walk.

Ryanne McKenna and Kianna Andrews each had a hit for the Bluejays.

With the loss, Shepherd concludes its season at 25-19.

The Bluejays graduate five seniors and are set to return eight players next spring.

St. Mary will take on either Gladstone or Napoleon for the state title at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. 

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