Softball Cardinals on a roll

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Bailey Kalscheur and Middleton’s softball team won four of five games last week./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Middleton’s girls softball team didn’t like how its season began.

So the Cardinals did something about it over the past week.

Middleton won four of its five games, including all four Big Eight Conference games it played. The Cardinals, who were routed in their season-opener at Madison East, improved to 4-1 in the league and 4-2 overall.

Here’s a recap of Middleton’s week:

• Middleton 7, Sun Prairie 6 — Host Middleton scored once in the bottom of the seventh to edge a terrific Sun Prairie team last Tuesday

With two outs in the seventh, Hanna Fisher singled to center off Alaya Lane. Pinch-hitter Amber Maas drew a walk and Ashley Bindl was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Lane threw a wild pitch on an 0-1 count to Lauren Banke and Fisher scored the winning run.

Middleton overcame an early 3-0 deficit to post the impressive win.

“That's a great win,” Middleton coach Perry Hibner said. “Sun Prairie was undefeated coming into the game. They can really hit the ball.

“I'm so proud of the way we responded to their fast start. And I'm thrilled we didn't hang our heads when they came back, but rather found a way to pull the game out.”

After Sun Prairie took a 3-0 lead in the first, Middleton answered with four runs, all with two outs.

Bailey Kalscheur's single up the middle scored Banke, who opened the inning with a single. Katrina Anderson followed with a double off the wall to score Rachel Everson, who earlier walked, and Kalscheur. Fisher then followed with a single to left to drive in Anderson.

“Those two-out hits were huge,” Hibner said. “We certainly didn’t respond well to adversity in our loss to Madison East last week, so it was awesome to see us come through right away against Sun Prairie.”

Middleton added two more runs in the third on Fisher’s RBI double to left and Bindl’s run-scoring single to left.

Sun Prairie answered with two runs in the fifth and another in the seventh, before Middleton rallied one final time.

• Middleton 9, Madison La Follette 8 — The Cardinals raced to leads of 5-1 and 9-4, then held off a late Lancers rally last Wednesday.

Shelby Ballweg smashed a two-run double to left center to give Middleton a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Jessica Parente hit a long home run to left center in the third to make it 4-1. Makenzie Kopp later singled to center in the third for her second RBI of the game and a 5-1 lead.

After the Lancers closed within 5-4, Middleton added three runs in the fourth. The big hit was Katherine Hibner's line-drive single to right with two outs that drove in two. 

“That was a huge hit by Katherine,” Perry Hibner said. “We really needed to get the momentum back and that hit helped. We've already had a number of big two-out hits to drive in runs this year.”

La Follette pulled within 9-8 by scoring four in the sixth, but Kopp got a popup and two groundouts in the seventh to close out the game.

“We hit the ball well, but we weren’t clean in the field,” said Hibner, whose team had five errors. “I was proud of Makenzie. She didn't let the errors get to her. She also didn't have her best stuff, but she battled. It's nice to find a way to win when we don’t play our best.”

• Middleton 8, Madison Memorial 0 — Makenzie Kopp threw a three-hit shutout and the host Cardinals cruised last Thursday.

“Makenzie pitched a great game,” Hibner said. “She was ahead of batters all day long and hit her spots. And we were very solid defensively. That's a winning formula.”

Middleton led, 1-0, in the fourth when it erupted for four runs.

Rachel Everson had an RBI single and Memorial committed two costly errors. The Cardinals added three more runs in the fifth as Kopp and Katherine Hibner both had RBI singles.

“We didn't hit the ball as well as we had the past two days, but we found a way to score,” Hibner said. “We are still letting some very hittable strikes go by early in the count and we need to be more aggressive in those situations.”

• River Valley 5, Middleton 3 — Visiting River Valley built a 5-0 lead and held off a late Cardinals’ rally last Friday.

Kylie Hoffman struck out 10 and didn't allow a run in five innings for River Valley. She also hit a two-run home run off Lauren Banke in the fifth inning after Banke walked the lead-off batter.

Middleton scored three runs in the seventh on RBI singles by Banke, Rachel Everson and Jessica Parente. But the Cardinals couldn't come any closer.

“River Valley is a very good team and Kylie Hoffman is a great pitcher,” Hibner said. “But we didn’t do a good job of adjusting when she got two strikes on us. We needed to shorten our swings and put the ball in play to put more pressure on their defense. 

“We also gave up too many walks. We gave up three walks in the second and another before the home run in the fifth. We can't do that against good teams.”

• Middleton 15, Verona 9 — The Cardinals pounded out 14 hits and notched a season-high run total in a win over the visiting Wildcats Monday.

Cardinals senior Shelby Ballweg had a home run, two doubles and drove in five runs.

Middleton was clinging to a 10-9 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning when it erupted for five runs. Verona had three errors in the inning and eight for the game.

“It's always nice to beat Verona because they have such a strong program,” Hibner said. “We did a great job of aggressively attacking good pitches. I love how we bounced back every time they made a run.”

Up next: The Cardinals hosted Madison West on Tuesday. They are at Beloit Memorial on Thursday before heading to first-place Janesville Craig for a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 10 a.m.


April 12

Middleton 7, Sun Prairie 6

Sun Prairie ……….. 300 020 1 — 6 10 1

Middleton ……………. 402 000 1 — 7 12 1

Pitchers (ip-h-er-bb-so) — Fellers 3-9-5-1-2, Lane 3.2-2-1-4-2; Banke 7-10-4-1-5. WP — Banke. LP — Lane.

Leading hitters — Ek (SP) 3x4, Blair (SP) 3x4, Anderson (M) 2x4, Fisher (M) 3x4. 2B — Tews (SP) 2, Ek, Everson, Fisher, Anderson.


April 13

Middleton 9, Madison La Follette 8

Middleton ……………………..… 212 301 0 — 9 14 5

Madison La Follette ………… 103 004 0 — 8 7 3

Pitchers (ip-h-er-bb-so) — Kopp 7-7-4-2-3; Lueder 7-14-8-1-4. WP — Kopp. LP — Lueder.

Leading hitters — Everson (M) 2x4, Parente (M) 3x4, Ballweg (M) 2x4, Anderson (M) 2x4, Kopp (M) 3x4, Turner (ML) 2x4, Corcoran (ML) 2x2. HR — Parente. 3B — Turner, Corcoran. 2B — Parente, Kalscheur (M), Ballweg, Kopp.


April 14

Middleton 8, Madison Memorial 0

Madison Memorial …………. 000 000 0 — 0 3 5

Middleton …………….……….  100 430 x — 8 7 0

Pitchers (ip-h-er-bb-so) — Groves 6-7-2-4-3; Kopp 7-2-0-0-5, Edington 1-1-0-1-1. WP — Kopp. LP — Groves.

Leading hitters — Fisher (M) 2x4. 2B — Fisher.


April 15

River Valley 5, Middleton 3

River Valley …………. 300 020 0 — 5 4 1

Middleton ……………. 000 000 3 — 3 8 2

Pitchers (ip-h-er-bb-so) — Hoffman 5-2-0-2-10, Jewell 2-6-3-0-1; Edington 4-3-3-3-4, Banke 3-1-2-1-3.

Leading hitters — Eberle (RV) 2x3, Parente (M) 3x4. HR — Hoffman (RV). 2B — Eberle.


April 18

Middleton 15, Verona 9

Verona ………….……. 140 022 0 — 9 12 8

Middleton ……………. 440 205 x — 15 14 0

Pitchers (ip-h-er-bb-so) — Erdman 3.1-9-9-4-1, Nelson 2.1-5-0-0-1, Anderson .1-0-0-2-0; Banke 3-5-5-3-3, Kopp 4-7-4-3-6.

WP — Kopp. LP — Erdman.

Leading hitters — H. Rudnicki (V) 2x3, Kleinsek (V) 2x3, Ballweg (M) 3x4, Banke (M) 2x5, Hibner (M) 2x4, Williams (M) 2x4. HR — Ballweg. 2B — Erdman (V), Kleinsek, Neitzel, H. Rudnicki, McChesney, Ballweg 2, Everson (M), Anderson (M).



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