Sports

Thu
10
Jun
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Softball Cardinals hit rough patch

It was a rough week for the Middleton Cardinals softball team that still has aspirations of winning at least a share of their first Big Eight Conference title since 2015.

But the task became much tougher after Middleton lost two of three games last week.

Freshman pitcher Tayler Baker scattered seven hits and struck out seven and also had three hits, including a double, to power visiting Sun Prairie to an 11-3 victory over Middleton in a Big Eight Conference game last Friday at Firefighters’ Park.

“We made her look pretty good,” Middleton manager Brittany Karl said of Baker. “I think it was on us for not making adjustments. We knew what she was throwing right out of the gate, and we just didn’t adjust to it. We made some adjustments in the fifth inning, but you can’t wait so long.”

Earlier in the week, Middleton defeated Janesville Parker 7-3 on June 1 and suffered a heart-breaking 7-6 loss at home to Parker on June 3.

Thu
10
Jun
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Tennis Cardinals win Big 8 title

The first goal has been accomplished.

Now, Middleton’s boys tennis team will take at their other objectives.

The Cardinals clinched the Big Eight Conference last week with a perfect 9-0 record. Middleton defeated Sun Prairie, Madison La Follette and Janesville Parker by identical 7-0 scores.

“For the last few conference matches we played this week, we knew that we would be the favored team,” Middleton coach Tony Mirasola said. “But it was important that we came out and were focused and energized at every position.”

Middleton did exactly that, as it completed its romp through the league.

Here’s a recap of the Cardinals’ week:

• Middleton 7, Sun Prairie 0 — Koji Heineman, Jonathan Kim, Ian Connell and Aarush Gupta all rolled to singles wins for Middleton on June 1.

On the doubles side, Middleton’s top team of Gene Kim and Kieran Gopal posted a 3-6, 6-2, 10-6 win over Sun Prairie’s Erik Spence and Kyle Helmenstine.

Thu
10
Jun
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Track teams shine at Sun Prairie

Their regular season is now in the rearview mirror.

The postseason awaits, and both Middleton track and field teams are excited about what lies ahead.

Middleton’s girls finished second at the six-team Paul Frank Invite hosted by Sun Prairie last Friday. Sun Prairie won the event with 146 points, while Middleton was a close second at 140.

Sun Prairie also won the boys meet with 156 points, while Verona (141) and Middleton (135.5) rounded out the top three.

“Without a conference meet to cap the end of season before the tournament schedule, the last two invites have been great for the kids,” said Middleton girls coach Jay Schweitzer said. “I think our finishes in both meets show the girls would be very competitive in a conference meet and I would like their chances. I'm very proud of the team’s development and performances.”

On the girls’ side, Kobi Davis won the shot put and Maddilyn Vander Sanden was third. Davis also won the discus.

Thu
10
Jun
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Soccer Cards hope for playoff run

Mary Duffy knows the challenges that await are immense.

Middleton’s girls soccer coach, though, likes that her team is entering the postseason with a two-game winning streak.

The Cardinals received the No. 5 seed in their half of the WIAA Division 1 sectional and began the playoffs Tuesday with a regional semifinal contest at Verona. The winner of that game advanced to a regional final Saturday at top-seeded Waunakee.

The sectional semifinals are June 17 and the sectional finals are June 19.

When Middleton and Verona met last month, they played in a downpour and through heavy winds. The Wildcats won that contest, 5-3.

“With any luck, we can play under and blue sky instead of piercing wind and rain, work together with our team defense and create our dangerous attack,” Duffy said. “It should be a good match up with two quality teams playing in the first game of the postseason instead of the second game.”

Tue
08
Jun
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Middleton golfers storm to state

Forgive Middleton freshman Charlie Jambor for experiencing a few jitters prior to his opening tee shot early Monday morning.  

As someone who had been alternating between varsity and junior varsity boys golf all season, Jambor was just hoping to contribute in the Cardinals’ biggest event of the season, the WIAA Division 1 Madison Memorial sectional at Blackhawk Country Club in Madison.  

It’s no secret that the perennial state-contending Cardinals routinely start a varsity five who are all capable of shooting in the 70s. Expectations are high. The competition just to make the varsity squad is fierce. 

And Jambor, who entered with an 85.25 average in four events for the young Cardinals, earned the fifth spot earlier in the week by winning a 36-hole qualifier by one shot. 

“I was a little nervous,” Jambor admitted. “My legs were noodles, basically. But as soon as I hit it and it was where I wanted it to be I was pretty excited.” 

Fri
04
Jun
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Middleton golfers win Big 8

The rain poured down.

Winds gusted with ferocity.

And scores shot up.

On a brutal day, though, at Janesville Country Club, Middleton’s boys golfers handled the elements and the challenging course better than the rest of the Big Eight Conference.

At the conference meet held last Thursday, the Cardinals shot a 337 and ran away with the league title. Verona was a distant second at 355, while Madison Memorial (358), Janesville Craig (363) and Sun Prairie (364) rounded out the top five.

Middleton, Madison Memorial and Verona all posted 8-1 records during the dual meet season. So by winning the conference meet, the Cardinals captured the overall Big Eight title.

“It was a very nice win for us,” Middleton coach Tom Cabalka said. “Our guys played very poorly in our conference match loss to Memorial. It was the kind of day that a coach hopes never happens — when the team's top three players all do not play well on the same day. 

Fri
04
Jun
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MHS golfers 2nd at regionals

The toughest regional in the state now becomes the toughest sectional.

Middleton’s boys golf team seems up for the challenge, though.

The Cardinals finished second at the WIAA Division 1 Middleton Regional held at Pleasant View Golf Course Tuesday.

Waunakee rallied on the back nine to win the regional with a 309-team score. Middleton was second at 310, while Madison Memorial (321) and Verona (323) rounded out the top four.

The top four teams and top four individuals from non-qualifying teams advanced to the Madison Memorial Sectional, which will be held at Blackhawk Country Club Monday.

The top two teams at sectionals will advance to state.

Senior Jacob Beckman led Middleton at regionals, with a 3-over-par, 75 that was good for second place individually.

Junior Alec Sosnowski was fourth overall with a 76. Freshman Dain Johnson was ninth with a 79 and sophomore Drew Sjowall was 10th with an 80.

Fri
04
Jun
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Girls softball still leads Big Eight

It was a terrific alternative fall season for Middleton’s girls’ sports programs this spring with the Cardinals winning state championships in tennis, cross country and golf, respectively.

So Middleton’s softball program would like nothing better than to add more hardware to the school’s trophy case by ending a state championship drought that dates back to 1989.

“Middleton’s won several state titles in the last few weeks,” Middleton first-year manager Brittany Carl said. “We’re in this culture, this tradition where it’s like, why not us? We say that a lot.”

But first things first, as Middleton — ranked third in last week’s Wisconsin Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association Division 1 poll — is focused on winning a Big Eight Conference title for the first time in six years.

Fri
04
Jun
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Tennis Cardinals enjoy a big week

Middleton’s boys tennis team faced the best of the best last week.

And the Cardinals left knowing they can play with the top teams Wisconsin has to offer.

Middleton, ranked No. 2 in the state, fell to top-ranked Brookfield East, 6-1, on May 24. Two days later, though, the Cardinals toppled No. 3 Marquette, 4-3.

In between steamrolled Janesville Craig, 6-0. Then last Friday and Saturday, Middleton cruised to three wins at the I-94 Classic.

In Middleton’s loss to East, Jonathan Kim posted a 6-4, 6-4 win at No. 4 singles for the Cardinals’ lone victory.

Two nights later against Marquette, Middleton swept the singles matches.

Koji Heineman pulled out a hard fought, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (5) win at No. 1 singles. Ian Connell won in straight sets at No. 2, while Kim and Aarush Gupta both pulled out three-set wins at No. 3 and 4 singles, respectively.

In between, the Cardinals lost just one game in six matches against Janesville Craig.

Fri
04
Jun
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Soccer Cardinals hit a rough patch

A Big Eight Conference title is now a longshot.

Instead, Middleton’s girls soccer team must regroup and get ready for what promises to be an incredibly challenging postseason.

The Cardinals dropped a pair of conference matches — a 4-2 setback to Madison West on May 25 and a 5-3 loss to Verona on May 27 — which severely hurt their chances for a conference title.

Middleton fell to fourth place in the conference at 4-2. The Cardinals — who also tied Hartford, 2-2, on May 28 — are now 5-5-2 overall.

“With both games against West and Verona, we know we can score,” Middleton coach Mary Duffy said. “Now it is just working on preventing or denying more of our opponent’s dangerous opportunities.”

In Middleton’s loss to West, the Regents broke a 2-2 tie with goals in the 71st and 73rd minutes to pull away.

West led, 1-0, when Middleton sophomore forward Dalina Jonuzi scored in the 39th minute to even the match.

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