Sports

Wed
18
Aug
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Ashton eliminates Middleton

ASHTON – It was a perfect, sun-splashed afternoon for baseball Sunday, and the host Ashton A’s brought their ‘A’ game.

Right-hander Derrick Rothwell tossed seven innings of shutout ball, and designated hitter Luke Ballweg led a long-ball fueled, 12-hit attack with two home runs as Ashton overwhelmed Middleton, 12-1, in a semifinal game in Home Talent League Northern Section play.

The A’s (11-2) advanced to the Northern Section championship game against the host Sauk Prairie Twins (13-0) in Sauk City on Sunday at 1 p.m.

“The top two teams are going at it. That’s the way it should be,” Ashton manager Dave Adler said. “Who knows? The last time we beat Sauk Prairie was in 2018. They’ve had our number for a few years, but we’ve had their number, too.”

Wed
18
Aug
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Girls swimmers have lofty goals

The shoes are immense.

The expectations remain sky high.

Good thing for Middleton’s girls swimming program they found a familiar face to try and keep things rolling.

Longtime Cardinals coach Lauren Cabalka — a former MHS standout — stepped down recently to spend more time with her family.

Middleton turned to R.J. Leiferman — another former MHS standout who swam collegiately at the University of Minnesota — to replace Cabalka. And the Cardinals hope passing the baton from one legend to another means Middleton’s tradition of greatness will continue.

“R.J. will be excellent,” Middleton athletic director Jamie Sims said. “Lauren did some amazing things with the program, and we think R.J. can keep it going.”

Thu
12
Aug
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MHS golfers gun for three-peat

They hoisted a gold ball for the second straight season.

That was the first time in school history such a remarkable achievement took place.

Still, there will always be a ‘What if?” element to the state championship Middleton’s girls golf team claimed this spring.

Through no fault of their own, the Cardinals played their 2020 fall season in the spring of 2021 due to COVID-19. Middleton was definitely in the minority, though, as 74% of schools throughout the state (129 of 175) chose to play girls golf last fall.

So while the Cardinals won a state championship in May, it came against a field of just 31 schools. When Middleton won the title in Oct., 2019, it bested a whopping 102 other schools on its way to capturing gold.

Now, when the Cardinals start their new season Aug. 16 at the Brookfield Central Invite, they’ll be thrilled for a “return to normalcy” where they can prove their mettle against the entire state — not just a portion of it.

Thu
12
Aug
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Girls tennis team aiming for a repeat

When we saw them last, there were hugs, tears of joy and one massive celebration.

Middleton’s girls’ tennis team stunned top-ranked Neenah and captured the WIAA Division 1 alternate-fall state championship in May.

It was the second state title in program history and the Cardinals’ first since 2013.

Now, with six of Middleton’s top-10 players back, the Cardinals are hoping to make a run at consecutive state titles.

“We will once again have a young team, but we are super excited to just be out playing again as it truly feels like we just got done competing,” Middleton coach Matt Given said. “This will be another special group of ladies who will leave their mark on MHS tennis.”

The Cardinals certainly left their mark last spring.

Middleton rolled past Ashwaubenon, 6-1, in the state semifinals. The Cardinals then edged Neenah, 4-3, in the championship match.

Thu
12
Aug
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Middleton's HTL team routs Muscoda

They struck early.

They struck late.

And they certainly didn’t let up in the middle.

Middleton’s Home Talent League team routed visiting Muscoda, 18-0, in the first round of the Northern Section playoffs Sunday in a game called after seven innings.

Middleton now travels to Ashton for a second round game Sunday at 1 p.m.

“We got on the board early and kept the pedal down,” Middleton manager Brandon Hellenbrand said. We were able to get some runs across early due to some walks and hit by pitches, but our bats kept going the rest of the game. I was really happy how we swung it today.”

Middleton erupted for eight runs in the first inning, scored three in the third and added seven more in the fifth.

Brady Schmitt was the winning pitcher, working all seven innings. Schmitt gave up seven hits, walked one and struck out six.

Thu
05
Aug
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Adler's heroics lift Ashton

ASHTON – The script was set for a storybook ending.

Shane Adler made sure it was a happy one for the Ashton As on Fan Appreciation Day.

Adler blasted a solo walk-off home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift host Ashton to a thrilling 5-4 victory over Black Earth in the final regular season game in Home Talent League Northern Section play last Sunday.

“It was a no-doubter, for sure,” said Black Earth center fielder Bryce Barsness, a former teammate of Adler’s at Madison College and UW-La Crosse. “When you hit a certain ball, you can hear it. There’s a big difference on whether you got it or you didn’t. He got it.”

The victory secured the No. 2 seed and home field advantage for the A’s through at least the first two rounds of the playoffs.

Ashton (9-2) will host Reedsburg (5-6) in a first-round Northern Section playoff game on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Thu
05
Aug
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Middleton's HTL team falls to Waunakee

This isn’t how Middleton’s Home Talent League team wanted to enter the postseason.

The good news is the 29ers still have time to right the ship.

Middleton dropped a 9-3 decision to Waunakee Sunday in its final regular season game of the year. The 29ers finished as the No. 4 seed in the Northern Section and will host fifth-seeded Muscoda Sunday at 1 p.m. in the first round of the postseason.

Middleton led, 3-1, through seven innings. But Waunakee struck for eight runs — seven earned — in the eighth inning off 29ers’ reliever Drew Farrell.

“Drew came in and just didn't have it today,” Middleton manager Brandon Hellenbrand said. “It was an off day for him and unfortunately Waunakee took advantage of it and was able to score eight runs in the (eighth) inning.”

Ross Hellenbrand started on the mound for Middleton and allowed just one run in six innings. Hellenbrand struck out seven, gave up three hits and one run.

Thu
05
Aug
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Tennis Cards named all-Big 8

Middleton’s boys tennis team went undefeated in the Big Eight Conference, rolled through the Oconomowoc Sectional and reached the WIAA Division 1 state semifinals.

So it was no surprise that the Cardinals were represented at every flight on the all-Big Eight Conference team.

Middleton’s first-team representatives were junior Ian Connell at No. 2 singles, sophomore Jonathon Kim at No. 3 singles and sophomore Aarush Gupta at No. 4 singles. In doubles play, the Cardinals’ No. 2 team of senior Anders Clark and junior Jacob Mandelbrot and the No. 3 team of juniors Franklin Hu and Saketh Peddireddy also earned first-team all-conference honors.

Middleton freshman Koji Heineman was named second-team all-conference at No. 1 singles. And the Cardinals’ top doubles team of senior Gene Kim and junior Kieran Gopal also earned second-team all-league honors.

Fri
30
Jul
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Middleton's 'Best of the Best'

They did a remarkable job working through a pandemic.

Then they had an incredible year when sports finally resumed.

Middleton’s boys sports teams had a terrific 2020-21 school year, and here the Times-Tribune has selected the best of the best.

Last week we honored the girls. This week it's the boys’ turn.

 

Team of the Year: Boys golf

Tom Cabalka is an optimist by nature.

Still, not even Middleton’s veteran boys golf coach could have predicted the type of spring his team would have.

After losing the 2020 season to COVID-19, Middleton brought back just one player with varsity experience. The Cardinals’ young guns surprised the golfing world, though, by finishing third at the WIAA Division 1 state tournament held at Wild Rock Golf Club in Wisconsin Dells.

Fri
30
Jul
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Boxing in Middleton

The Wisconsin Golden Gloves state tournament was held recently at the Marriott West.

Times-Tribune photographer Mary Langenfeld captured much of the action.

From top:

• Sawyer Grwbow, right, of Marshfield spars with Alex Brisk of Lac du Flambeau in the 152-pound division.

• Jeni Bergles hugs Sarah Senanayake after the "True Novice" match. Bergles was the winner.

• Coach Shah Evans (right) gives boxer Sarah Senanayake water between rounds.

• Wisconsin State Golden Gloves tournament organizer Andrea Nelson (center) poses with her Open Elite Champions team.

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