Middleton's softball team routs West

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel

The horrendous spring weather means softball teams everywhere will be playing almost daily down the stretch — weather permitting, of course.

Middleton is certainly in that same boat.

The Cardinals managed just one game last week and will now try packing seven games in a 10-day window.

The good news for Middleton is its one game was an impressive 10-0 win over Madison West last Friday in a contest stopped after six innings due to the mercy rule. The Cardinals improved to 9-7 overall and are 6-5 in the Big Eight Conference.

“It wasn't our best game at the plate, but I have been pleased with our approach against the teams below us in the standings,” Middleton manager Perry Hibner said. “We have been solid on the mound and in the field, run the bases hard and made enough happen at the plate.”

Madison West was winless in 2018, but has beaten Madison East and Madison La Follette this season. The Regents were no match for the Cardinals, though.

Middleton starter Ellie Buza three five scoreless innings, allowed just two hits and struck out six. Brynn Thayer pitched the sixth, allowed one hit and struck out the side.

Together, the duo needed just 85 pitches to finish off the Regents.

“It was a really well-pitched game by Ellie and Brynn,” said Hibner, who noted that each pitcher has an ERA of less than 3.00 this season. “They have been solid for us all season.”

Middleton had a big day at the plate, too.

In the first inning, Jenna Redders singled to left off Ari Balas and Rachael Roberts walked. Both runners moved up on a passed ball and scored on Olivia Hebert's two-run single to right.

“We didn't hit the ball hard, but we found some spots, ran the bases hard and got the early lead, which is always nice,” Hibner said. “Ari is a four-year starter and is a very good pitcher. She throws in the low-to-mid 50s. She isn't going to give you anything.”

In the fourth, Thayer singled to right, Katelyn Graf laid down a sacrifice bunt, and Sydney Helt, running for Thayer, went from first to third on the play.

Redders followed with a double to center to score Helt, then Roberts doubled to the wall in left to score Redders and make it 4-0. After Ashley Bindl singled to left, Hebert doubled to the wall in left to score Roberts and Bindl. Sam Williams then doubled to the right-centerfield wall to score Hebert and give Middleton a 7-0 lead.

“We really started attacking the ball,” Hibner said. “Up until then, we were a little too passive at the plate, especially when Ari was coming inside. Those hits by Rachael, Olivia and Sam were smoked.”

In the fifth, Lauren Horst led off with a double to left. Pinch-runner Bailey Flock advanced to third on Thayer's groundout to second and scored on a passed ball to make it 8-0.

Then in the sixth, Roberts walked, Bindl singled to right, and pinch-hitter Abby Zumbrennen singled to center to load the bases. Sam Williams hit a fly ball to left that was dropped, allowing Roberts to score. Pinch-hitter Emily Ross followed with a single to left to score Bindl and end the game.

“We always talk about playing to a standard, regardless of the opponent,” Hibner said. “We need to keep doing that and, hopefully, more good things will follow.”

• On deck: Middleton hosted Madison Memorial Monday, then was at Beloit Memorial Tuesday. The Cardinals host Janesville Parker Thursday at 5 p.m. and are at Madison La Follette Friday at 4:30 p.m.

Middleton then hosts Madison La Follette May 13 at 5 p.m., travels to Janesville Craig May 14 at 4:30 p.m. and is at Sun Prairie May 16 at 5 p.m.

“Mother Nature has certainly wreaked havoc on all of our schedules again this year,'' Hibner said. “The good news is we had a good week of practice indoors. The bad news is no one wants to practice four days in a row indoors this time of year.”


May 3

Middleton 10, Madson West 0 (6)

Madison West ………….. 000 000 — 0 3 1

Middleton ………………… 200 512 — 10 13 1

Pitchers (ip-h-er-so-bb): Balas (L; 5-13-8-5-4), Buza (W; 5-2-0-6-0), Thayer (1-1-0-3-0).

Leading hitters: Buscemi (MW) 2x3, Redders (M) 2x3, Hebert (M) 2x3, Williams (M) 2x3, Bindl (M) 2x4.





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