Sports

Thu
20
May
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Baseball Cards hope to pick up steam

Middleton’s baseball team has dug a giant hole for itself.

The Cardinals see progress, though. And with half of a season left, time is still on their side.

Middleton went 2-3 last week and is now 6-6 overall. The problem for the Cardinals is they lost all three of their Big Eight Conference games last week, fell to 4-3 in the league and tumbled to fifth place in the conference.

“Overall we learned a lot about our team and we've made a few philosophy changes that we think will benefit our team moving forward,” Middleton manager Brent Jorgensen said. “As a team, we are starting to make improvements in all areas of our game and we can see our guys getting better each game. It is fun to be part of and I'm excited to see how we do this week.”

Here’s a recap of Middleton’s games last week:

• Madison Memorial 8, Middleton 2; Madison Memorial 12, Middleton 6 — The Cardinals dropped consecutive games to the Spartans on May 10-11.

Tue
18
May
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Sanderson's heroics help Middleton repeat

KOHLER — On random trips to the putting green, Glenna Sanderson livens things up by telling herself, “This putt is for the state championship.”

So, imagine Sanderson’s surprise Tuesday afternoon when her 8-foot putt on the 18th hole at Blackwolf Run actually was for the WIAA Division 1 alternate-fall state championship.

“Even though I practice that way sometimes, you never really think you’ll be in that position,” said Sanderson, a senior at Middleton High School. “It was pretty crazy.”

Crazy stressful. Crazy exciting. And turns out, crazy exhilarating.

Sanderson read the putt perfectly, never flinched and knocked it in the center of the cup. The walk-off, championship putt helped Middleton finish the two-day tournament with a 640-team score, one shot better than runner-up Bay Port.

Thu
13
May
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Girls cross country team wins state title

JANESVILLE – There was plenty to celebrate for Middleton’s girls cross country team last Saturday at the Blackhawk Golf Course.

But no one had more to celebrate than junior Lauren Pansegrau.

Not only did Pansegrau become just the second Middleton runner in school history to win an individual state cross country championship, she also led the Cardinals to their fifth state team championship and first since 2006 at the WIAA alternate fall state cross country meet.

“I knew that was our goal going in to this,” Pansegrau said of the team title. “I thought everyone ran really well. They were putting a lot of effort into this race. So we did really well.”

Pansegrau cruised to the individual title, covering the 5,000-meter course in 17 minutes, 7.3 seconds. She is the Cardinals’ first individual state cross country champion since Liz Reusser won back-to-back titles in 1997 and 1998.

Thu
13
May
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Boys XC team 4th at state

JANESVILLE – Junior Griffin Ward and senior Ryan Schollmeyer have proven to be a solid one-two punch for the Middleton boys’ cross country team during this alternative fall season.

They displayed their talents one last time this spring when they capped their season with a stellar finish at the WIAA state meet at the Blackhawk Golf Course last Saturday morning.

“We’re running with one of the best coaches and best programs in Middleton,” Schollmeyer said. “We owed it to them to run our hearts out.”

Mission accomplished.

Stevens Point senior Jake Bourget, a University of Wisconsin recruit, won the individual title, covering the 5,000-meter course in 15 minutes, 38.6 seconds.

But Ward finished second in 15:43.2, while Schollmeyer capped his career with a third-place finish in 15:43.9 to lead the Cardinals to a fourth-place team finish.

Thu
13
May
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Middleton's girls golfers headed to state

It wasn’t their best round of the year.

And really, it didn't have to be.

Middleton’s girls golfers did what they needed to and won their own sectional held at Pleasant View Monday. The Cardinals shot a 320 to easily outdistance runner-up Janesville Craig (344) and win the eight-team sectional.

Middleton and Craig both advanced to the state tournament that will be held May 17-18 at Blackwolf Run in Kohler. The Cardinals — who won the 2019 state title, then chose to push their 2020 fall season to the spring — will technically be gunning for a repeat.

“State was a team goal at the beginning of the season and I'm proud of the girls for accomplishing this goal,” Middleton coach Becky Halverson said. “As a team, our number one goal was to advance to state.”

Thu
13
May
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Great expectations for boys tennis team

Normalcy.

It’s a word that’s been thrown out of the dictionary in the past year. But as Middleton’s boys tennis team gathered for the first time last week, Cardinals head coach Tony Mirasola and his group suddenly felt normal once again.

“It's certainly been a breath of fresh air to have the season this spring,” Mirasola said. “I know the guys are all really excited to be back out on the court and competing after missing last year. Everyone really missed being able to compete in that team environment and being able to play again brings some sense of normalcy for these guys.”

After the 2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19, Middleton is enjoying — and appreciating — the chance to compete more than ever.

What could make things even more exciting is the Cardinals appear to have the makings of one of the top teams in Wisconsin. Middleton began its season by going 4-0 at the Coaches Classic at Brookfield Central High School last weekend.

Thu
13
May
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Boys tennis team starts strong

Middleton’s boys tennis team is off to a sensational start.

The Cardinals competed at the Coaches Classic at Brookfield Central High School last weekend and went a perfect 4-0. Here’s a recap of Middleton’s big weekend:

• Middleton 7, Nicolet 0 — The Cardinals rolled past the Knights last Friday.

Ian Connell, Koji Heineman, Aarush Gupta and Jacob Mandelbrot all notched singles wins.

In doubles play, Middleton got wins from the teams of Gene Kim and Jonathan Kim, Anders Clark and Kieran Gopal, and Neel Mukherjee and Ilya Rice.

• Middleton 7, Verona 0 — Jonathan Kim, Koji Heineman, Aarush Gupta and Kieran Gopa all notched straight set wins for Middleton last Friday.

And in doubles play, Gene Kim and Ian Connell won at No. 1, Anders Clark and Jacob Mandelbrot rolled at No. 2, and Franklin Hu and Saketh Peddireddy cruised at No. 3.

Thu
13
May
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Girls soccer team thinking big

The wait was abysmal.

The reunion has been a blast.

Middleton’s girls soccer team jammed six games into its first week back. And even though the Cardinals would have loved to fare better than a 2-2-2 record, they’re excited to be back on the field.

“From what I have seen for the past week, I have a strong, united front of players,” Middleton coach Mary Duffy said. “They're ready for the ups and downs of this season together. 

“We are better together — which is our program T-shirt for the boys and girls. The girls are hungry. They want to play, to compete and also just be together as a team.”

The Cardinals certainly did that that during a wild and wacky opening week.

Middleton will build around an 11-person senior class that includes seven returning letterwinners. Junior Meghan Frantz also lettered in 2019 and will be counted on for big things.

Thu
13
May
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Softball Cards keep rolling

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.

Thu
13
May
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Boys golfers rounding into form

Tom Cabalka doesn't believe in cupcakes.

No gimmies, patsies or sure things.

No Cabalka — Middleton’s veteran boys golf coach — has the Cardinals play one of the toughest schedules in the state each spring. And when the postseason arrives, there’s nothing Middleton hasn't seen.

The Cardinals faced many of the top teams in the state last week and more than held their own.

Middleton won the 12-team Morgan Stanley Invite at University Ridge on May 4. The Cardinals won the Badger-Big Eight Challenge last Friday at Bishop’s Bay.

And Middleton tied for fifth at the 35-team MACC Fund Invitational held at Erin Hills Golf Course last Saturday.

At the Morgan Stanley Invite, the Cardinals fired a 303 to easily outdistance runner-up Waunakee (318). Madison Memorial (319), Madison Edgewood (321) and Milton (326) rounded out the top five.

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