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Baseball Cards stun No. 1 Craig

Janesville Craig was a perfect 22-0.

The Cougars had won 13 of those games by at least 10 runs. And the closest anyone had come to defeating Craig came on April 27, when Sun Prairie West dropped a 5-2 decision.

But Middleton blew those numbers up on May 23.

The Cardinals traveled to Craig and downed the Cougars, 2-1, for their biggest win of the regular season.

Middleton improved to 17-7 overall and 14-5 in the Big Eight Conference. Top-ranked Craig fell to 22-1, 18-1.

“It seemed like every inning there was a moment that could have gone either way to determine the eventual outcome of the game,” Middleton manager Brent Jorgensen said. “Our guys showed poise, confidence, and determination to turn most of those moments in our favor.”

As happy was Jorgensen was, Craig skipper Josh Shere was equally upset.

“We didn't play very good baseball,” Shere said. “We made a lot of mistakes we usually don't make.

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Middleton golfers fall short of state

Twenty four hours before their biggest meet of the season, Middleton boys golf coach Tom Cabalka knew just what to expect.

“It’s going to be incredibly close,” Cabalka said of Tuesday’s WIAA Division 1 Waunakee Sectional. “There are four or five outstanding teams. It will probably come down to a shot or two.”

Cabalka was spot on.

Unfortunately, his Cardinals were on the wrong side of that score.

Host Waunakee won the eight-team sectional held at The Meadows of Six Mile with a 310, while Middleton and Holmen tied for second at 317. Only the top two teams go to state, so the Cardinals and Vikings headed to a playoff hole.

When there’s a playoff in high school golf, all 10 players from the two teams play the same hole at once — and count the four best scores per side. Middleton and Holmen returned to No. 1, where the Vikings then edged the Cardinals, 17-18, in the playoff.

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Softball Cards win playoff opener

The postseason couldn’t have arrived any sooner for the Middleton Cardinals’ softball team.

Sophomore right-hander Megan Button tossed a two-hit shutout, and second baseman Mackenzie Zimmerman had three hits to power a 14-hit attack as fifth-seeded Middleton routed 12th-seeded Onalaska, 12-0, in five innings due to the mercy rule at Firefighters’ Memorial Park on Tuesday.

“This is the first mercy rule win we had all season,” Middleton manager Brittany Carl said. “So I love having it in the postseason. They chose that mentality of ‘We’re not done yet.’ ”

After a disappointing performance in the Cardinals’ final regular season game – an 11-3 loss to visiting Janesville Parker last Saturday – the bounce-back victory was just what Middleton needed to ignite what it hopes is a long playoff run.

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Baseball Cardinals land No. 4 seed

It was a hectic stretch of five games in six days for Middleton’s baseball team, which heads into the final week of the regular season in search of some positive momentum with the postseason on deck.

Middleton which earned a No. 4 seed in the WIAA Division 1 La Crosse Sectional, capped off a rollercoaster week, dropping a 3-2 heartbreaker at Columbus in a non-conference game last Saturday.

The Cardinals’ highlight of the week, though, was a bounce-back 8-2 victory at Verona last Friday night, putting a damper on Verona’s ‘Senior Night.’

Middleton (16-7, 13-5 Big Eight) rebounded from a miserable 11-2 loss at home to Verona the previous day.

The Cardinals also topped Sun Prairie West 5-1 on May 16 behind junior right-hander Kevin Sheehan’s four-hit complete game and a monster 3-for-3 performance from senior first baseman Alden Cleary.

Payback was indeed sweet, though, after the Wildcats had dealt Middleton arguably its worst loss of the season.

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Tennis Cardinals win Big 8 title

The postseason could be one of the most thrilling in school history for Middleton’s boys tennis team.

And the Cardinals kicked it off in style by winning the Big Eight Conference meet held last Wednesday and Thursday at Nielsen Tennis Stadium.

Middleton advanced to the finals at all seven flights, won five individual titles and finished with a league-best 19 points. Madison West was second with 16 points and Madison Memorial was third with 11.

“The team fought when they were down, and did so extremely well,” said Middleton coach Henry Johnson, whose team is ranked No. 1 in the state. “We were not at full physical strength, but the guys did well enough to bring home the team title, so I am proud of what we accomplished.”

Middleton has qualified for the WIAA Division 1 state tournament 14 times in school history and finished second on four occasions. The Cardinals have never won a state title, though.

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MHS track athletes advance through regionals

Middleton’s track teams competed at the Madison East Regional Monday.

The Cardinals’ boys finished second and Middleton’s girls were fourth.

The top four finishers in each event advanced to Thursday’s Sauk Prairie Sectional.

Here are the Middleton athletes that advanced to sectionals.



• Finn Patenaude won the 110-meter hurdles and the 300-meter hurdles.

• Gavyn Hurley won the long jump.

• KJ Peterson won the shot put and was fourth in the discus.

• Middleton’s quartet of Emre Gunay, Matthew Arnold, Cameron Swapsy and Patenaude was second in the 1,600-meter relay.

• Harper Fahey was second in the 800-meter run.

• Gunay was third in the 400-meter dash.

• William Whiteis was third in the 3,200-meter run.

• Middleton’s 800-meter relay team of Arnold, Corben Falk, Caleb Haverberg and Hurley was fourth.

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Soccer Cards ready for playoff run

The road will be brutal, packed with one potential pothole after another.

Middleton girls soccer coach Mary Duffy loves her team, though.

And Duffy believes the Cardinals are prepared to navigate any rocky roads that come their way.

Middleton received the No. 6 seed in its sectional and begins the postseason by hosting 11th-seeded Badger in a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal Tuesday at 7 p.m. If the Cardinals win there, they would face either third-seeded Verona or 14th-seeded Beloit Memorial in a regional final on June 3.

“I have been saying to the girls the past few games that we need to stay focused so that we can get a home game to start off our playoffs,” Duffy said. “And they all see the value in that.”

Middleton was supposed to face Badger in its season-opener this year. The game was postponed, though, and never made up.

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Johnson's heroics power MHS golfers

Big-time players make big-time plays in big-time moments. 

Or in the case of Dain Johnson, they make big-time putts.

Johnson, a standout junior golfer at Middleton, drilled a long par putt at No. 18 Monday during the WIAA Division 1 Madison Memorial Regional held at Blackhawk Country Club. Memorial senior Charlie Erlandson then missed his par putt.

That sequence of events allowed the Cardinals to win the regional title, 297-298, over the Spartans. Middleton’s 297-team score was its second-lowest of the season.

“Our guys seemed to be more focused and it was fun to see some really good play,” Middleton coach Tom Cabalka said. “A 297 is a great team score.”

The top four teams advanced to Tuesday’s Waunakee Sectional, which will be held at The Meadows of Six Mile Creek. That meant Middleton, Madison Memorial, Waunakee (312) and Madison West (330) moved on, while Mount Horeb (332), Verona (333), Sauk Prairie (343) and Madison East (422) fell short.

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Cardinals battle to strike out cancer

It was a beautiful day for a baseball game on Monday afternoon at Middleton High School, a sun-splashed kind of day that the late great Hall of Famer Ernie Banks would have exclaimed ‘Let’s play two’.

And while the Ninth Annual ‘Cardinals Strike Out Cancer’ game between host Middleton and visiting Sun Prairie East was only a seven-inning matchup featuring two of the elite programs in the Big Eight Conference, the event accomplished its primary goal.

That was to raise funds to support American Family Children’s Hospital pediatric cancer research.

“I think it helps our players to realize they are pretty blessed to have their health,” said Lori Hellenbrand, chairperson of the event. “A lot of us have been affected by cancer in one way or another. So watching family members go through that, this has a special place in our hearts to raise funds to hopefully find some cures so families don’t have to continue to go through that.”

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Girls track team second at conference

Practice makes perfect. Or, in Madilyn Vander Sanden’s case, the practice of positive thinking.

The senior thrower on the Middleton girls track and field team had a message for herself before last Friday night’s Big Eight Conference Championships at Otto Breitenbach Stadium.

“You’ll do amazing,” she said of what that message was. “It’s just something that you have to keep telling yourself or else you’re not going to do great.”

She was right — she did do amazing.

Vander Sanden swept both throwing events, winning the shot put with a mark of 37 feet, 9 inches before later in the night claiming the discus title with a personal record toss of 118-8.

Her 20 points in those two events helped propel Middleton to a runner-up showing with 120 points. Verona won the meet with 149 points and Madison Memorial was third at 113.5.


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