East Lansing — Meghan Beaubien has been thinking about it all season, but especially in the postseason.
The senior pitcher, a three-time player of the year, knows her high school career is ending.
“This whole run, any game could be your last game,” said Beaubien, who Friday extended it one last day by leading Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central past Shepherd 1-0. “I don’t think it’s really hit me, it’s a little weird.
“But I want to go out there and make the last game of my career another state championship.”
St. Mary CC (26-3) advanced to Saturday’s Division 3 state championship, where the school will go after a third consecutive state championship.
Beaubien, who has committed to the University of Michigan, pitched a two-hit shutout against Shepherd (25-19) and struck out 15.
Beaubien had to be sharp because Shepherd pitcher Haley Peska was equally efficient, allowing five hits and only walking one, while striking out six.
Monroe St. Mary pitcher Meghan Beaubien tripled and scored the lone run, and struck out 15 in Friday's semifinal victory. Ted Kulfan
“They played a great game and almost beat us,” Beaubien said.
For good measure, Beaubien scored the lone run, too, tripling to lead off the sixth and scoring on Kelsey Barron’s double.
“I do like to hit,” said Beaubien, who serves as St. Mary's lead-off hitter. “I love to contribute offensively and I knew I could hit (Friday), I just missed it the two previous at-bats.
“I went up there looking for something to drive and I got ahead in the count and I got it (a pitch to hit).”
Pitching on any level is important, so St. Mary CC coach John Morningstar knows he has an asset.
“She’s our (Justin) Verlander,” Morningstar said. “She’s dominant.”
But Beaubien did need help Friday in the late innings.
In the bottom of the sixth, Shepherd’s Ryanne McKenna singled with one out, was sacrificed to second, then stole third base.
But Beaubien got a strikeout to end the threat.
Pitcher Meghan Beaubien and Monroe St. Mary are going for a third state title after beating Shepherd 1-0. Ted Kulfan
In the seventh, Beaubien hit a batter, who moved to second on a sacrifice, then moved to third when freshman right fielder Samantha Michael (who also had two hits) made a diving catch for the second out.
“A game-saver,” said Morningstar of Michael’s catch. “If it heels off the glove, the run scores and we’re probably still playing. You have to have that, you have to be able to defend.”
Beaubien struck out the final Shepherd hitter, with the runner on third.
“I don’t like it when people get on base, obviously it happens, but that means I’ve messed up, the hitter beat me,” Beaubien said. “It means I have to do better and that just gets me more motivated and fired up and to go after the next batter.”
Napoleon 16, Gladstone 0 (5 innings): Napoleon (36-4) scored eight runs in the first inning and never looked back.
Kallie Pittman had four hits, Ashton Jordan drove in four runs, and Paige Kortz and Hayley Rose both scored three runs. Pitcher Sydney Coe allowed three hits and struck out six in five innings.
Ottawa Lake Whiteford 6, Coleman 1: Erin Malney had two hits, drove in four runs, and scored three times, leading Whiteford (33-6).
Whiteford scored three runs in the first inning and never let up, as pitcher Lindsay Walker pitched a three-hitter and struck out nine.
Autumn Tubbs had two hits and scored a run for Coleman (35-6).
Indian River Inland Lakes 9, Kalamazoo Christian 0: Sydney DePauw had three hits and Inland Lakes (34-5) had 14 hits total.
Pitcher Cloe Mallory pitched a four-hit shutout for Inland Lakes, and helped her own cause with two hits and scoring three runs.
Grandville 2, Clarkston 1
Macomb Dakota 6, Mattawan 3
Final: Saturday, 12:30 p.m.
Richmond 4, Escanaba 2
Ida 3, Stevensville Lakeshore 2
Final: Saturday, 10 a.m.
Monroe St. Mary C.C. 1, Shepherd 0
Napoleon 16, Gladstone 0 (5 inn.)
Final: Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Indian River Inland Lakes 9, Kalamazoo Christian 0
Ottawa Lake Whiteford 6, Coleman 1
Final: Saturday, 3 p.m.