Sports

Wed
23
May
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Soccer Cards win Big 8 crown

SUN PRAIRIE — There are still far bigger fish to fry.

There are much larger goals waiting to be attained.

But for a few minutes Tuesday night, Middleton’s girls’ soccer team stopped, smiled, and reflected on what it had just achieved.

Middleton dominated host Sun Prairie from start to finish and rolled to a 2-0 Big Eight Conference win. The victory gave Middleton the undisputed Big Eight Conference title for a second straight year.

Middleton finished the regular season 8-0-1 in the league and tallied 25 points. Sun Prairie could have earned a share of the conference title with a win, but fell to 6-2-1 and settled for second place with 19 points.

Wed
23
May
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Golfers win Middleton Regional

In a season packed with pleasant surprises, adversity hasn’t reared its ugly head very often for Middleton’s boys golf team.

Midway through Tuesday’s WIAA Division 1 Middleton Regional at Pleasant View, though, danger and difficulty were staring the Cardinals squarely in the face.

Middleton shot a disappointing 160 on the front nine and trailed Waunakee by five strokes. This came on the heels of the Cardinals’ third-place finish at the Big Eight Conference meet five days earlier.

Instead of fading to black, though, Middleton turned things around on a memorable back nine. The Cardinals shot a blistering 151, picked up 11 strokes on the Warriors and won their own regional championship.

Middleton finished with a 311, while Waunakee was second at 317. Verona (322) and Oregon (334) also advanced to next Tuesday’s Verona Sectional at Edelweiss Country Club.

Wed
23
May
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Baseball Cards close in on Big 8 title

These days, it’s pretty good to be Middleton’s baseball team.

The Cardinals swept a pair of games from Beloit Memorial last week, topping the Purple Knights, 5-2, on Tuesday and cruising to a 13-2 win on Wednesday. Now, Middleton’s baseball team is on the brink of winning the Big Eight Conference.

The Cardinals sit at 13-3 in the league and 16-6 overall. Middleton, looking for its first conference title since 2010, holds a ½-game lead over second place Janesville Craig (19-3, 12-3) and Sun Prairie (18-3, 12-3).

In addition, Middleton received the No. 1 seed in its 12-team sectional Sunday. The Cardinals received every No. 1 vote from the other 11 coaches.

Middleton now gets a first round bye and hosts either eighth-seeded Onalaska or ninth-seeded Portage in a WIAA Division 1 regional final on May 31. The Middleton Sectional then takes place June 5.

Wed
23
May
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Tennis Cards set for postseason push

Middleton’s boys tennis team is extremely talented, battle-tested and in the midst of a terrific season.

Now, the Cardinals are hoping to put it all together this week.

Middleton was scheduled to compete at the WIAA Division 1 Madison Memorial Sectional Wednesday. The top individuals advance to the state tournament May 31-June 2, while the first place team earns a spot at the state team tournament June 8-9.

“In order to win sectionals and advance to team state, we are all going to need to pull together,” Middleton coach Kalla Schaefer said. “Our subsectional is one of the strongest in the state, so players will have to get off to a quick start and play well right off the bat.”

Verona, which won the Big Eight Conference dual meet title and also captured the conference meet last week, is the slight favorite. But Middleton, Madison Memorial and Madison West are all expected to be in the hunt for the team title.

Wed
23
May
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Softball Cardinals receive No. 8 seed

The road won’t be easy.

Far from.

But Middleton’s girls’ softball team is hoping to string together a number of surprises this postseason.

The Cardinals received the No. 8 seed in their sectional and host ninth-seeded Madison Memorial in a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal Wednesday at 5 p.m. If Middleton advances, it would travel to Sun Prairie for a regional final Friday at 5 p.m.

The sectional semifinals are May 29 and the sectional finals are May 31.

Memorial went 10-11 overall and finished sixth in the Big Eight Conference at 9-9. Middleton (8-13, 8-10) settled for seventh in the league.

The teams also split a doubleheader on April 24, with the Spartans winning the first game, 12-2, and Middleton capturing the second game, 7-5.

Wed
23
May
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MHS track athletes advance to sectionals

Middleton’s boys track and field team won the Sun Prairie Regional Monday night. The Cardinals totaled 156 points and led Sun Prairie (124).

Sun Prairie’s girls sat in first place (197), while Madison Memorial (157), Waunakee (113.50) and Middleton (96) rounded out the top four.

The top four finishers at regionals advanced to the Middleton Sectional Thursday. The top three sectional place-winners advance to the WIAA State Meet at Veterans’ Memorial Stadium in La Crosse on June 1-2.

Middleton senior Sam Jaeger won the 1,600-meter run (4:27.59), while sophomore Zach Lefell was second (4:30.17) and junior Caleb Easton was third (4:31.13).

Easton won the 3,200-meter run (9:32.41), while senior Jack Rader was second (9:32.41) and Jaeger was fourth (9:32.82). The Cardinals’ 3,200 meter-relay team was also first.

Middleton senior Aaron Richardson was second in the 200-meter dash (23.25) and third in the 100-meter dash (11.16).

Thu
17
May
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Six-peat for boys track team

Junior Caleb Easton said the mantra all season long for the Middleton boys’ track and field team was “six-peat, six-peat”.

Following a dominating performance at Lussier Stadium on Monday night, the Cardinals’ championship streak remained intact.

Middleton’s boys won their sixth consecutive Big Eight Conference championship and third straight under coach Joe Line. Middleton was first with 150.67 points. Sun Prairie was second with 111 and Verona placed third (83.33).

The meet was moved to Monday after it was postponed on May 11 due to rain and cold weather. But it was well worth the wait for the Cardinals, who won six individual titles, including three by senior Aaron Richardson.

“He turned literally into a machine tonight,” Line said of Richardson, who set a personal-best time in winning the 100-meter dash in 10.88 seconds. He also won the 200 (:22.41) and the long jump (21-8 ½) crowns.

Thu
17
May
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Softball Cards excited for postseason

Middleton softball coach Perry Hibner and assistant Amy Siedschlag were scheduled to attend the WIAA Division 1 seeding meeting in Baraboo Wednesday night. And Hibner expected his team to be seeded anywhere from No. 7-12.

“I think we’re a pretty dangerous seed no matter where we get placed,” Hibner said. “We’re healthy and playing better. I can’t wait for the postseason.”

Yes, Hibner is full of optimism.

But if the Cardinals’ postseason is going to last very long, they’ll have to play much better than they have during the regular season.

Middleton dropped two of three games last week and fell to 6-11 overall and 6-8 in the Big Eight Conference.

Verona swept the Cardinals by scores of 7-3 and 6-0 last Tuesday. Middleton then bounced back and toppled Janesville Parker, 9-0, last Thursday.

Thu
17
May
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Girls soccer team jumps to No. 1

Mary Duffy fully understands that polls don’t guarantee anything.

That they’re nothing more than opinions and fodder for family and friends to discuss.

Still, Duffy — Middleton’s girls’ soccer coach — and her Cardinals were excited, humbled and a little bit apprehensive after claiming the No. 1 spot in the latest Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association poll.

Middleton was the top ranked team in Division 1, followed by Bay Port, Eau Claire Memorial, Hartland Arrowhead and Kimberly.

“That is great and we feel honored,” Duffy said of the No. 1 ranking. “But I also feel like it is a double-edged sword. While it does speak to the talent we have, we still need to perform to go to state. Happy to see recognition, but it also means we need to focus and work even harder now.

Thu
17
May
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Golfers win Big 8 dual meet title

It’s a tradition that stems back decades.

Any time Middleton’s boys golf team wins a major invitational, the Big Eight Conference, or a postseason event, the Cardinals stop at a certain gas station. Middleton’s boys are then treated to Slushie’s for their accomplishments.

Last Wednesday, the Cardinals once again ended up with Slushie’s in their hands. And this one was extremely sweet.

Middleton shot a season-low 296 and edged Verona (302) to win the Madison East Triangular held at Yahara Hills. Both the Cardinals and Wildcats entered the meet unbeaten in the Big Eight dual meet season, and the win gave Middleton the regular season title.

“The kids have always had the same goals and No. 1 is to always win conference,” Middleton coach Tom Cabalka said. “After that, we focus on making it to state.

“But this group is gaining more confidence and believes anything is within reach. They just need to keep working hard and practicing with a purpose.”

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