Sports

Thu
13
May
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Boys soccer team falls in regional finals

The alternate fall season had just ended.

And Middleton’s boys soccer coach Kevin Pauls was already anxiously awaiting the fall season.

Waunakee and Middleton played to a 2-2 tie in a WIAA Division 1 regional final last Thursday. The Warriors then prevailed in a shootout, edging the Cardinals, 5-4, on penalty kicks.

While the ending was painful for Middleton, the good news is the fall season begins in three short months.

“I'm happy we got a season and I'm excited to see what the non-seniors will do in the fall,” said Pauls, the Cardinals’ first-year coach. “Many of the younger guys saw a good deal of time and that will help us start strong in August — just a few months away.”

The Cardinals certainly gave a strong performance against Waunakee.

Thu
13
May
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Good and bad for baseball Cards

Middleton’s baseball team split four games last week.

If the Cardinals were going to win just twice, though, they picked the right games to win.

Middleton defeated Beloit Memorial, 23-0 and 13-0 in a pair of Big Eight Conference games last Tuesday and Thursday. The Cardinals then fell twice to Union Grove last Saturday, 7-3 and 6-2.

Middleton is now 5-3 overall, but a perfect 4-0 in the Big Eight.

“Playing great competition is also a great way for us to continue to get better throughout the season and be pushed as individuals and as a team,” Middleton manager Brent Jorgensen said. “I'm confident we can come up in those big moments this week and be successful against several good teams coming up on our schedule.”

Here’s a recap of the Cardinals’ week:

Thu
06
May
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Girls tennis team wins state title

A No. 3 doubles match doesn't usually draw a large crowd at a tennis match.

At the WIAA’s alternate season girls state team tennis tournament held last Saturday in Eau Claire, though, fans flocked for a decent seat.

Middleton and Neenah were tied, 3-3, with the state championship hanging in the balance.

That’s when Middleton senior Charlotte Sax and freshman Caroline Sax came up huge. The Sax sisters toppled Neenah’s Bradyn Gentile and Alise Van Dyke 6-2, 7-6 (7) in a match held at the Menard Tennis Center.

The win gave the Cardinals a 4-3 win over the Rockets and the second state championship in school history. Middleton, which has been to state eight times, also won the title in 2013.

Thu
06
May
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Pansegrau makes history, powers MHS runners

CROSS PLAINS – It was business as usual for Middleton junior Lauren Pansegrau on a windy, sun-splashed Glacier Creek Middle School cross country course on Saturday morning with a special twist.

Competing at the WIAA Middleton Sectional meet, Pansegrau broke the 17-minute mark with a personal-best time of 16 minutes, 57.976 seconds in winning the second race and the overall sectional title.

Pansegrau’s big day also helped Middleton roll to the sectional title with just 42 points. Madison West was second with 56 points and also qualified for state.

According to research by Middleton girls coach Alexa Richardson and boys coach Brian Finnel, Pansegrau is the first girl in state history to break the 17-minute barrier in a 5,000-meter cross country race.

The WIAA website lists Onalaska junior Kora Malecek’s time of 17:44.6 in 2019 as the fastest girls’ 5,000-meter state time since the switch to the longer distance in 2014.

Thu
06
May
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Softball Cardinals sprint to 5-0 start

Middleton’s girls softball team has extremely high hopes this season.

After one week, it’s easy to see why.

The Cardinals won all five of their games last week and raced to a 5-0 start.

Each and every win has been a true team win,” Middleton first-year coach Brittany Carl said. “All student-athletes on this team understand and embrace their roles, making us that much stronger in terms of chemistry and specialized skill sets.

“We have challenged our student-athletes to approach the game more cerebrally early on and the buy-in has been incredible. As a coaching staff, we’ve made some fundamental, philosophical changes to the program culture and style and our athletes have taken it all in stride. They ask great questions at the few practices we have (had), hold each other accountable to work hard, and then are fearless to execute come game time.”

Thu
06
May
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Boys XC team headed back to state

CROSS PLAINS – Griffin Ward hoped Middleton would be able to extend its boys cross country season one more week when the Cardinals competed in a WIAA sectional meet at Glacier Creek Middle School last Saturday.

That dream didn’t appear to be possible last fall, when any thoughts of the Cardinals making what has become an annual trip to the WIAA state tournament seemed to be nothing more than a pipe dream.

“Honestly, I didn’t think we’d have an alternate season,” Griffin said after Middleton opted out of competition last fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “But it obviously has worked.”

Griffin and senior Ryan Schollmeyer recorded a one-two finish in the second of two sub-sectional races to help Middleton finish second overall and secure a state meet berth for the eighth consecutive season.

“We feel pretty fortunate and very lucky that we get that opportunity given that it’s a crazy year,” Middleton coach Brian Finnel said.   

Thu
06
May
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Painful ending for football Cards

SUN PRAIRIE – With all due respect to Merriam-Webster, there are certain entries in the dictionary that are better defined by pictures. 

“Frustrating” is one of them.  

And no image would have been more appropriate for such an adjective than watching the Middleton prep football team’s offense trot from field to bench late in the third quarter at Bank of Sun Prairie Stadium at Ashley Field on Friday night. 

One by one, the Cardinals trudged forward, their heads hung and spirits crushed, doing their best to muster up the energy to overcome those “feelings of anger and annoyance.” 

For the second game in less than a month against rival Sun Prairie, Middleton couldn’t consistently sustain any momentum on offense. And unlike last time, its defense couldn’t hold up, either. 

Middleton totaled just 97 yards, giving up 38 unanswered points in a 38-14 defeat that put a cap on a frustrating, COVID-19 shortened spring season.  

Thu
06
May
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Baseball Cards off to fast start

Middleton’s baseball team has raced from the gates and won two of its first three games.

The Cardinals toppled Madison East, 8-2, on April 27. Middleton then routed the Purgolders, 12-1, on April 30.

Middleton then fell to Bay Port on May 1, 19-2.

Here’s a recap of the Cardinals’ week:

• Middleton 8, Madison East 2 — Aidan Williams sure knows how to throw himself a party.

On his 18th birthday, Williams belted a grand slam home run and pitched a gem to earn the win. In five innings, Williams struck out seven, allowed six hits and just one earned run.

Middleton was clinging to a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth when Williams launched his grand slam.

“Aidan Williams's grand slam on his 18th birthday was a pretty cool way to break the game open and stretch our lead,” Middleton manager Brent Jorgensen said.

Thu
06
May
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Soccer Cardinals earn No. 3 seed

Middleton’s boys soccer team received the No. 3 seed in its regional.

Verona is the top seed, followed by Waunakee, Middleton, La Crosse Central and Madison Memorial.

Middleton now travels to Waunakee Thursday at 7 p.m. for a regional final. The winner advances to the Baraboo Sectional on Saturday.

The sectional semifinals and sectionals will both be held in Baraboo on Saturday.

The Cardinals finished the regular season by going 1-2-1 last week. Here’s a recap of those games:

• Middleton 2, Verona 2 — The Cardinals raced to a 2-0 lead, but the Wildcats battled back and forged a tie on April 27.

Ezra Joseph scored in the 34th minute for Middleton and Ben Tutewohl gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead in the 47th minute. But Middleton couldn’t hold on.

• Waunakee 3, Middleton 2 — The host Warriors jumped to a 3-0 first half lead on April 29, then held off a late Cardinals’ surge.

Thu
06
May
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Girls golfers win regionals

SUN PRAIRIE — Step one is complete.

Just two more remain.

Middleton’s girls golfers — which won the WIAA Division 1 state championship in the fall of 2019 — are attempting to repeat this spring. And the Cardinals took step one on Tuesday.

Middleton won the Jefferson Regional that was held at The Oaks in Sun Prairie. The Cardinals fired a 315 to easily outdistance runner-up Jefferson (380).

Madison Memorial (387) and Madison West (399) also qualified for Monday’s Middleton Sectional, which will be held at Pleasant View. Mount Horeb (406), McFarland (434) and Cambridge (518) rounded out the seven-team regional.

Middleton had four of the top five finishers, led by junior Ellie Frisch who fired a 1-over-par, 72. Frisch was a model of consistency from start to finish, shooting a 35 on the front nine and a 37 on the back.

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