Sports

Thu
24
Jun
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Future's bright for girls softball team

It was a year they’ll never forget.

They won 20 games for the first time in more than a decade. They chased a conference championship. And they laid the groundwork for future success.
Unfortunately for Middleton’s girls softball team, it came to an end on June 16.

Verona defeated the Cardinals, 13-3, in a WIAA Division 1 regional final stopped after six innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.

Middleton finished its first year under coach Brittany Carl with a 21-6 record.

“Verona always pushes us. There is no wiggle room in games against the Wildcats,” Carl said. “Their offense has the ability to change the game with a single swing from any spot in the lineup. That's exactly what we saw happen.”

That’s for sure.

Verona belted three home runs — including a grand slam by pitcher Alyssa Bostley. Hilary Blomberg and Sydney Toman also homered for the Wildcats.
Verona pounded out 14 hits, while Middleton managed just five.

Thu
24
Jun
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Baseball Cardinals win regional title

There was no panic, no anxiety.

They remained calm, composed and aggressive all at once.

And because of it, Middleton’s baseball team advanced to a WIAA Division 1 sectional for the first time since 2018.

The Cardinals rallied from a deficit on three different occasions and toppled DeForest, 7-5, in a regional final on June 17. Middleton improved to 18-9, while DeForest finished the year 19-4.

“We were down early in the game but we didn't panic, stayed consistent with our approach, and continued to put the pressure on Deforest,” Middleton manager Brent Jorgensen said. “Overall, it was a great win and the boys came to play with great energy.”

Middleton trailed, 3-2, heading to the sixth inning when it took the lead for good.

Thu
24
Jun
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Two MHS lacrosse players named all-state

Middleton’s boys lacrosse team had two players earn postseason honors.

Goalie Jace Bauer was named all-state, while attacker Jack Schutte was named an Academic All-American.

Bauer, a junior, was named all-state in his first year as a starter. Bauer had a 65% save rate, allowed just 4.6 goals per game, and was also named first-team all-conference and Middleton’s Most Valuable Player.

“Jace has incredible explosion to the ball coupled with amazing patience waiting for the shooter to commit,” Middleton coach Sanford Erdahl said. “He is probably the most talented goalie I have seen in 10-plus years”.  

Shutte, a senior who graduated earlier this month, was also named first-team all-conference. Shutte is going to play for Division III powerhouse Dickinson next year.

“Schutte is a competitor on and off the field,” Erdahl said. “It shows with him winning first-team all-conference and academic all American.”

Thu
17
Jun
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Beckman wins state golf title

WISCONSIN DELLS — Thirty-nine months ago, Jacob Beckman walked into Middleton’s boys golf program and wasn’t bashful.

The baby faced, yet ultra-gifted Beckman outlined his goals. And he wasn’t afraid to aim big.

“The goal that I set for myself the very first day of practice my freshman year was to win a state championship,” Beckman said.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Beckman capped his memorable Middleton career in style. Beckman sank a 3-foot par putt on the 18th hole at Wild Rock Golf Club and became just the fifth golfer in school history to win a WIAA Division 1 state championship.

Beckman shot a 4-under-par, 140 over the two-day tournament and edged Hudson’s Bennett Swavely by one shot. Kettle Moraine’s Ben Pausha, who made a late charge with a 5-under-par on the back nine that included a hole-in-one, was third at 142.

Thu
17
Jun
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Baseball Cards win playoff opener

Middleton junior Easton Zempel didn’t have to be perfect on Tuesday afternoon.

But the 6-foot-6 right-hander, who is an imposing figure on the mound, came close.

Zempel threw 5 1/3 innings of no-hit ball and allowed just four baserunners, including a sixth-inning bloop single, to help third-seeded Middleton blank sixth-seeded Madison East 7-0 in a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal at Middleton High School.

Middleton (17-9) advanced to the regional championship game against host second-seeded DeForest (19-3), an 8-6 winner over seventh-seeded Madison West, on Thursday.

“My fastball was working really well,” said Zempel, who needed just 85 pitches to dispose of the Regents and allowed only four balls to be hit out of the infield. “My slider was working really well, too. I was hitting my spots.”

Thu
17
Jun
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Tennis Cardinals headed to state

OCONOMOWOC — The heat was oppressive.

The competition was intense.

Still, nothing could slow down the juggernaut that is Middleton’s boys tennis team.

The Cardinals rolled through the Oconomowoc Sectional on June 9, winning all four singles flights and finishing second in all three doubles flights.

Middleton finished with 50 points to easily outdistance runner-up Arrowhead (36). The Cardinals earned a trip to the WIAA Division 1 state team tournament June 25-26 in Eau Claire and are the No. 2 seed.

Middleton also qualified three singles players and two doubles teams for the individual state tournament that will be held Thursday through Saturday in Eau Claire.

“It was a great day for us,” Middleton coach Tony Mirasola said afterwards. “The first goal is always the team and we accomplished that. And then we had enough players do well that we should be well-represented at individual state.”

They are.

Thu
17
Jun
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Track teams shine at regionals

Middleton senior Jackson Meyer qualified for the WIAA state track and field meet in the triple jump as a sophomore two years ago.

But after losing a year of competition to the COVID-19 pandemic, Meyer made a unique decision this spring.

“I always wanted to do the triple and high jump,” said Meyer, who broke a 38-year school record in the triple jump this spring. “But the long jump, I’ve thought about it, but the coaches wanted me to save my legs.

“But my senior year, I said I wanted to do all three. I like it. It keeps me going. I have a lot of adrenaline the whole time. I’m always ready to do another. It’s usually triple jump first and then long jump and high jump at the same time. It works out well.”

So far, so good.

Thu
17
Jun
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Softball Cards start strong

Middleton’s girls softball team opened the postseason in style Monday.

The Cardinals defeated Madison East, 12-0, in a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal stopped after five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule. The Cardinals were the No. 3 seed in their half of the Middleton Sectional, while the Purgolders were the No. 6 seed.

Middleton will now travel to second-seeded Verona for a regional final Wednesday at 5 p.m. The sectional semifinals are June 21 and the sectional finals are June 23.

Middleton improved to 21-5 overall. The last Cardinals’ team to post 20 wins in a season was the 2007 group that went 20-3.

In Middleton’s playoff win over East, Ellie Buza went the distance and allowed just four hits. Buza also struck out five, didn't walk a batter and threw strikes on 50 of her 73 pitches (68.5%).

Middleton pounded out 12 hits and scored in every inning it batted.

Thu
17
Jun
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Verona ousts soccer Cardinals

They played their best game of the season at the most opportune time.

They were prepared, focused and extremely driven.

In the end, though, it wasn’t quite enough.

Middleton’s girls soccer team dropped a 1-0 decision to host Verona in a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal on June 8. After more than 82 minutes of scoreless soccer, the Wildcats notched the game-winner in the 83rd minute.

Middleton finished the season 7-6-2, while Verona (9-3-1) knocked off top-seeded Waunakee in a regional final last Thursday.

“I have never seen a group of girls more prepared,” Middleton coach Mary Duffy said. “We knew from how this half of the sectional was divided out that we had a difficult challenge even if we had gotten a home game. 

Thu
10
Jun
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Baseball Cards earn No. 3 seed

The road will be daunting, formidable.

Middleton’s baseball team certainly seems poised, though, to make a postseason run.

The Cardinals won four straight games last week and have now won 10 of 11 overall. And with the WIAA Division 1 playoffs set to begin Tuesday, Middleton (15-7 overall, 11-4 in the Big Eight) figures to be a remarkably tough out.

The Cardinals received the No. 3 seed in their half of the sectional and will host sixth-seeded Madison East in a regional semifinal June 15. The winner of that game will face either second-seeded DeForest or seventh-seeded Madison West in a regional final on June 17.

The regional includes top-seeded Madison Memorial, followed by DeForest, Middleton, Verona, Waunakee, Madison East and Madison West.

Sectionals are June 21 in Baraboo.

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