Softball Cardinals ousted

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MTT News Desk's picture
Rob Reischel
Amber Karn and Middleton’s girls softball team fell to DeForest in a regional semifinal Tuesday./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

The end of the road came sooner than anyone hoped.

Middleton’s girls softball team, which appeared to be getting hot at just the right time, saw its season end Tuesday afternoon.

The Cardinals fell to DeForest, 6-5, in a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal.

Middleton entered as the 12th seed in the sectional, while DeForest was seeded fifth. And while the Cardinals put a scare into the Norskies, they couldn't seal the deal.

Middleton took a 3-0 lead in the top of the third inning. But the Norskies scored two in the bottom of the frame and three more in the fourth to surge to a 5-3 lead.

DeForest led, 6-3, in the top of the seventh when Middleton struck for two runs. But the Cardinals couldn’t produce the tying run.

Middleton finished the year 9-10 and 9-9 in the Big Eight Conference.

“I’m really proud of the way the girls played tonight,” Middleton coach Arin Oppermann said. “We played tough, we were energetic, and we hit the ball hard. 

“There's not a whole lot more I can ask from my team. It’s too bad our season ended tonight, but our girls have nothing to hang their heads about. They made great improvements over the season, and they finished strong in their last game.” 

The Cardinals had rolled off four straight wins before losing to the Norskies. Here’s a recap of Middleton’s week, before encountering DeForest.

• Middleton 5, Madison West 3; Middleton 10, Madison West 3 — The Cardinals swept a doubleheader from the Regents last Thursday.

“The girls hit the ball very well,” Middleton coach Arin Oppermann said. “We were making solid contact throughout both games.”

In the opener, Leah Wolff went 3-for-4, while Shelby Ballweg was 2-for-4 with three RBI. Ashley Brooks, Emily Pomykalski and Abby Henke all had two hits, as well.

Ashley Stormer was the winning pitcher after allowing just four hits and striking out eight.

In the nightcap, Ballweg capped her big doubleheader, going 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI. Wolff was also 4-for-4 with four runs scored, while Pomykalski belted a home run, scored two runs and had two RBI.

Kelly Brown was the winning pitcher. Brown went the distance, allowed just one earned run and struck out five.

• Middleton 5, Madison East 3 — Middleton struck for four runs in the first inning and never looked back last Tuesday.

Wolff went 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI, while Brooks was 2-for-4 with a run scored. Stormer went the distance and picked up the win.

“This was a very good win for us,” Oppermann said. “We jumped on them from the first inning and continued to put the ball in play. They were confident at the plate and looked like they were having fun, which makes a huge difference for our team.”

Wolff’s RBI single in the first scored Brooks, and Wolff later scored on an error. Pomykalski scored on Amber Karn’s RBI single and Ballweg later came around on a fielder’s choice by Taylor Mavroulis.

East closed within 4-3 in the sixth, but Pomykalski came up with a huge catch to keep the Purgolders at bay.

“This was an unbelievable catch,” Oppermann said. “(Darby) Raffel went for the ball. It was going to be a tough one to catch and she just barely tipped it with her glove. 

“Luckily, Pomy was right next to her, and was able to catch it before the ball hit the ground. What a great way to get out of an inning, especially when East had two runners in scoring position.”

Middleton then added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when Rachel Williams’ RBI single scored Mavroulis.


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