Softball Cards keep rolling

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Middleton senior Olivia Hebert currently leads the state with eight home runs./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

The Wisconsin Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association has yet to release a poll this season.

When they do, it's a good bet Middleton will like where it’s positioned.

The Cardinals won three of four games last week and continued their torrid start. Middleton is now 8-1 overall and 3-0 in the Big Eight Conference.

“Every single athlete on our roster knows and embraces her role,” Cardinals’ first-year coach Brittany Carl said. “We have incredible team chemistry and this group genuinely enjoys playing with and for each other. It really is a team-first mentality.”

Middleton rolled past Beloit Memorial, 13-3, last Tuesday. The Cardinals then won two of three games during a trip to Chippewa Falls Saturday.

Middleton lost to host Chippewa Falls, 14-4. The Cardinals then rallied back to defeat Onalaska, 10-2, and Rice Lake, 11-1.

“We were extremely fortunate to be invited up to Chippewa Falls to play in their invitational this past weekend,” Carl said. “We faced some great competition and came away with some good learnings to prepare us for the rest of our Big Eight schedule.”

Among Middleton’s highlights form the past week:

• Senior Olivia Hebert hit .692 with three doubles, five home runs, nine runs scored and had 13 RBI. She currently tops the leaderboards for both home runs (8) and RBIs (24) this season. 

• Junior Jenna Redders and senior Abby Zumbrunnen also turned in stellar performances at the plate.

Redders hit .636 with a .750 on-base percentage, had one double, two home runs, nine runs scored, and five RBIs. Zumbrunnen batted .500 from the leadoff spot, had one double, one home run, seven runs scored, and five RBIs. 

• Middleton hit .376 as a team with a .429 on-base percentage. 

• The Cardinals had seven home runs as a team in 2019. This year, they already have 11 home runs and are averaging 10.3 runs per game.

• Middleton pitched by committee last week, using all three arms in its rotation. Senior Ellie Buza picked up a win last Tuesday, while junior Bailey Flock and freshman Charlotte Yingling each notched a win on Saturday. 

• The Cardinals’ corner play in the infield was terrific. Senior first baseman Charlotte Sax and senior third baseman Abby Zumbrunnen accounted for 35 total chances and were perfect in the field.

Here’s a recap of the Cardinals’ four games from last week:

• Middleton 13, Beloit Memorial 3 (6) — The Cardinals belted out 15 hits in a game that was stopped after six innings due to the mercy rule.

Ellie Buza went the distance, struck out seven and walked just one to earn the win. Abby Zumbrunnen and Olivia Hebert did the damage on offense, each turning in a five-RBI performance.

Hebert blasted two home runs. Zumbrunnen was almost impossible to retire in the leadoff spot, going 4-for-5 at the dish with a double and her first long ball of the season.

“We placed a tremendous focus on how to run and fortify our offense this year and I think that's turning some heads,” Carl said. “We're creative and quick to adapt when faced with adversity.”

• Chippewa Falls 14, Middleton 4 — Olivia Hebert and Jenna Redders were 2-for-4 in the loss. Hebert also tallied a double, a home run and had two RBI.

It wasn’t enough, though.

This was a really good test for our team,” Carl said. “Chippewa Falls was incredibly sound on both sides of the ball and we needed to play our best ball to compete. Unfortunately, we did not.

“Every team needs a game like this, though. It was a great reminder to play our game and not bend to someone else's. We battled throughout … but we just couldn't match their offensive output.”

• Middleton 10, Onalaska 2 — Freshman Charlotte Yingling recorded her first career win, fanning three batters and allowing just three hits in a seven-inning effort.

Jenna Redders continued her hot streak at the plate, belting her first home run of the season to deep center in a three-RBI performance. Abby Zumbrunnen went 4-for-4, while Olivia Hebert and Linden Boycks added two hits each to round out the offense. 

• Middleton 11, Rice Lake 1 — Bailey Flock returned to the circle for the finale of the Chippewa Falls Invitational, struck out five and allowed just one run and five hits in the five-inning run-rule victory.

Jenna Redders added her second home run of the day in a 3-for-4 performance, while Olivia Hebert took another two balls deep in a four RBI game.

Sophomore Linden Boycks and freshman Mackenzie Zimmerman each added two hits in the win. Charlotte Sax also doubled and had two RBI.

“After playing in three games on Saturday, we were quite pleased and impressed with the depth of our roster,” Carl said. “We made some switches throughout the day to test out some different combinations and it was all taken in stride. This team gets it.

“Softball is a game of adjustments. We have multiple individuals that can play multiple positions, which opens up a lot of doors for us as coaches.”




May 4


Middleton ………….. 104 224 — 13 14 0

Beloit Memorial …………. 002 100 — 3 8 3

Pitchers (ip-h-r-er-so-bb) — M: Buza (W; 6-8-3-3-7-1); BM: Swanson (L; 4.1-10-8-7-2-3), Bishop (1.2-4-4-1-1-0).

Leading hitters — M: M: Zumbrunnen 4x5 (HR, 2B, 3R, 4BI), Hebert 3x3 (2HR, 2R, 5BI), Buza 2x3, Redders (2B, 2R), Boycks (2R); BM: Swanson 2x3 (HR, 2B, 2BI), Franks 2x2. At Stateline Youth Sports Complex.


May 8

Chippewa Falls Tournament


Onalaska ………… 000 200 0 — 2 3 5

Middleton ………… 307 000 x — 10 11 1

Pitchers (ip-h-r-er-so-bb) — On: Smith (L; 6-11-10-3-4-2); Mid: Yingling (W; 7-3-2-2-3-9).

Leading hitters — On: Balduzzi (2B), Binegar (2BI); Mid: Hebert 2x3 (2B, 2R, 2BI), Redders (HR, 2R, 3BI), Zumbrunnen 4x4 (2R), Boycks 2x4.


May 8


Middleton …………….. 303 23 — 11 13 0

Rice Lake ……………… 000 01 — 1 5 2

Pitchers (ip-h-r-er-so-bb) — M: Flock (W; 5-5-1-1-5-2); RL: VandeVoort (L; 3-7-8-7-2-3), Repka (2-6-3-3-1-1).

Leading hitters — Mid: Hebert 2x3 (2 HR, 4R, 4BI), Redders 3x3 (HR, 3R, 2BI), Sax (2B, 2BI), Zimmerman 2x4 (2B), Boycks 2x4; RL: Walters2x3, Schieffer (2B).



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