Sports

Wed
01
May
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Baseball Cards heating up

During this on-again, off-again spring, consistency has been a virtual impossibility for baseball teams everywhere.

But Middleton manager Tom Schmitt believes his team is awfully close to the level of steadiness he desires.

The Cardinals strung together three consecutive wins in a 48-hour stretch between Saturday and Monday.

Middleton swept a doubleheader from Watertown on Saturday, then thumped Janesville Parker, 13-3, on Monday.

Middleton is now 5-2 overall and 3-2 in the Big Eight Conference.

“If we can continue to play and get better like we have these last three games, the potential is there,” Schmitt said. “We just have to keep improving.”

Here’s a recap of the Cardinals’ week.

• Middleton 13, Janesville Parker 3 — The Cardinals pounded out 16 hits and rolled past the visiting Vikings Monday afternoon.

Wed
01
May
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Boys track team rolls

Now that’s how you kick off your own invitational.

Middleton’s boys track and field team hosted the inaugural Cardinal Relays last Friday and MHS. And Middleton gave a memorable performance.

The Cardinals won the invite with 146 points, while Sun Prairie was second at 140. Onalaska was third with 100, followed by La Crosse Central (92), Waunakee (82) and Holemn (50).

“It was exciting to see an invitational at Middleton again after a decade hiatus,” Middleton coach Isaac Mezera said. “It was exciting to go up against some teams that we don’t normally see.”

And exciting to see some of Middleton’s performances.

The Cardinals won the grade level 1,600 sprint medley, in which they used one individual from each grade. The quartet of sophomore Zach Easton, freshman Will Funk, senior Drew Docter and junior R.J. Pertzborn rolled to a first place finish in 3:47.26.

Wed
01
May
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Girls track team shines

Top-notch performances came from up and down the roster.

High-level showings were delivered by regular contributors and unexpected sources.

That’s what made the first Cardinal Relays so fun for Middleton’s girls track and field team Friday night.

Middleton and Sun Prairie tied for first place at the event, both finishing with 158 points. La Crosse Central (96), Waunakee (60), Onalaska (55) and Holmen (42) rounded out the top five.

Middleton opened with a stirring win in the 4x400 meter relay grade level. Cardinals senior Darcy Dean was stride for stride with a Waunakee runner, but pulled ahead in the final 30 meters to prevail.

Middleton’s quartet of Dean, Abbey Webber, Anna Garren and Payton Bills finished in 4:11.18 as all four runners set personal-best times.

“The meet got off to a spectacular start,” Middleton coach Tara Franklin said. “And that was just the beginning.”

Indeed it was.

Wed
01
May
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Good and bad for soccer Cardinals

On Thursday night, Middleton girls soccer coach Mary Duffy was worried where the Cardinals’ season was headed.

By Saturday night, Duffy and the rest of the Cardinals appeared back on track.

Middleton opened the week with a difficult 4-1 loss to defending WIAA Division 1 state champion Madison West. But the Cardinals rebounded by going 1-1-1 over the next two days at the power-packed Tournament of Champions held in Burlington, Iowa.

“It was truly a different team from Thursday to Saturday,” Duffy said. 

Here’s a recap of Middleton’s week:

• Madison West 4, Middleton 1 — The Cardinals actually struck first with a goal from Ellen Jesse in the 11th minute. But West showed why it’s a contender for another state crown and scored four unanswered goals.

The Regents tied the game in the 38th minute. West then scored three second half goals and oulled away.

Wed
01
May
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Softball Cardinals finding their groove

Things have gotten harried for Middleton’s girls softball team.

That’s what nightmarish spring weather will do.

But the Cardinals held up well last week, winning three of the five games they played. Middleton improved to 4-4 overall.

Here’s a recap of the Cardinals’ week.

• Middleton 5, Beloit Memorial 4 — Emily Pomykalski had two hits, including a triple, and drove in three runs to power the visiting Cardinals last Friday.

Ashley Stormer went the distance for Middleton, striking out five and allowing just two earned runs.

Middleton raced to a 5-0 lead through two innings, then held on for dear life as the Purple Knights charged back.

“Good win,” Middleton manager Arin Oppermann said. “It was great that we got the lead right away, but now we need to work on getting on base and scoring every inning. We can’t get too comfortable with the amount of runs we have.”

Wed
01
May
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Net gains for tennis Cards

Some of the state’s top boys tennis programs competed in the Verona Invitational last Friday and Saturday.

And Middleton showed it was the near the top of the food chain.

The Cardinals went 3-1 on the weekend with wins over Sheboygan North, Waukesha West and Brookfield Central. Middleton’s only loss came to Nicolet.

Here’s a recap of Middleton’s weekend.

• Nicolet 5, Middleton 2 — Cardinals No. 1 singles player Ben Luskin notched an impressive 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 win over Nicolet’s Kevin Ballecer. Middleton also got a win at No. 4 singles, where Tyler Markel posted a 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-2 victory over Nicolet’s Rafi Barash.

But Middleton dropped all three doubles matches and lost the other two singles matches.

• Middleton 6, Sheboygan North 1 — The Cardinals rolled through all four singles flights and notched victories in two of the three doubles matches.

Wed
24
Apr
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Boys track team wins Watertown Invite

Back in 2011, Middleton’s boys track and field team was headed to the Watertown Invitational for the first time.
Cardinals head coach Isaac Mezera rose to give his speech on the bus ride over. And Mezera thought he’d have a little fun with it.
“I said, ‘Guys, we are undefeated at this meet, let’s keep it that way,’” Mezera recalled. “I was a joke. Now it has become a tradition.”
Indeed it has.
Middleton notched a third straight title at the seven-team Watertown Invite with an impressive showing Saturday. The Cardinals finished with 159 points and edged runner-up Janesville Craig (157). 
“It sets a good tone for the season winning our first outdoor invitational,” mezera said. “Hopefully we can use it as some positive momentum in such a rainy year.”
They should, as Middleton had several top performances along their way to the championship.
Wed
24
Apr
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Boys tennis team shines

Middleton’s boys tennis team went 3-1 at the Madison Memorial Invite last Saturday.
Middleton defeated Sun Prairie, 7-0, and rolled past Madison Memorial, 6-1. The Cardinals fell to Homestead, 7-0, and rolled past Green Bay Preble, 5-2.
All four Middleton singles players went 3-1 on the day.
Cardinals top singles player Ben Luskin defeated Keegan Moldenhauer, 6-1, 6-0. Luskin then toppled Madison Memorial’s Andrew Liu, 6-1, 6-0. After falling to a Homestead player, Luskin defeated Green  Bay Preble’s Brad Maccoux, 6-1, 6-0.
Joey Niesen, Middleton’s No. 2 player, opened with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Sun Prairie’s Yuri Drenoske, then downed Madison Memorial’s Chris Diaczun, 6-4, 7-5. Niesen fell to a Homestead player, then rolled past Green Bay Preble’s Hoain Thai, 6-0, 6-0.
Wed
24
Apr
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Girls softball team tops La Follette

It wasn’t the most orthodox way to win a game.
But Middleton’s girls softball team didn’t mind.
Madison La Follette ace Nicole Newman hurled a no-hitter and struck out 18 Middleton batters Monday afternoon. But the visiting Cardinals rallied for a ninth inning run and upended the Lancers, 1-0.
“It was a really fun game to watch and be a part of,” Middleton manager Arin Oppermann said. “It was obvious from the time we stepped off the bus that they were ready to play some ball.  
“At no point in the game was I worried we wouldn't come out ahead. Between our solid defense and the energy they brought to the field, I knew good things were going to happen. They played hard, maintained their focus, and kept their energy up throughout the entire game. I’m so proud of those girls.”
Middleton pitcher Ashley Stzzormer threw a complete-game shutout, struck out seven and picked up the win. 
Wed
24
Apr
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MHS girls on the right track

With the spring weather being more miserable than any in recent memory, teams have had a hard time gauging just where they stand.
After last Saturday’s Watertown Invite, though, Middleton’s girls track and field team felt awfully good about itself.
Neenah won the eight-team event with 143 points, while the Cardinals and Janesville Craig tied for second at 116.
“Finishing second overall was a great morale booster,” Middleton coach Tara Franklin said.
Rightfully so.
Middleton’s distance teams led the way.
Bobbi Patrick, Darcy Dean, Rachel Wians and Sam Valentine took first place in the 3,200 meter relay with a time of 10:08.46. That’s currently the fourth best time on the state honor roll.
Middleton’s 1,600-meter relay team of Patrick, Emily Zeker, Kayla Bauhs and Anna Garren was first in 4:11.54. That’s the fifth-best time on the state honor roll.

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