Sports

Thu
14
Jun
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Four softball Cardinals earn all-Big 8 honors

Middleton’s girls’ softball team had a rough season on the field, going 9-14 overall.

But the Cardinals were well-represented when it came to all-Big Eight Conference honors.

Senior first baseman Jessica Parente was named first-team all-conference. Parente was the only player on the first team that wasn’t from Sun Prairie or Verona.

Freshman Olivia Hebert was named second-team utility and honorable-mention all-conference as a catcher. Junior third baseman Ashley Bindl was named second-team all-conference, while senior second baseman Sophie Schafer was named honorable-mention all-league.

Parente was named all-conference for the fourth consecutive season. Parente was a second-team utility player in 2015, a second-team catcher in 2016 and a first-team first baseman in 2017.

Thu
07
Jun
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Future is bright for MHS golfers

VERONA — In many ways, this year’s WIAA Division 1 boys state golf tournament was about the present — and the future — for Middleton’s boys’ golf team.

The Cardinals were the youngest of the 16 teams at state, featuring three sophomores, one freshman and a senior. Middleton’s four underclassmen were all making their first-ever trips to state.

So despite a sixth place finish at the 36-hole event held Monday and Tuesday at University Ridge, Middleton left this brilliant course full of hope.

Sure, the Cardinals were hoping for a better overall finish. But with 80% of its lineup expected back — and several young and promising players in the program — this might have been just the beginning for Middleton.

“I think we got a lot of experience from this tournament,” said sophomore Carson Frisch, who plays No. 2 in the Middleton lineup. “That will definitely help going into next year and helping us handle big pressure situations.”

Thu
07
Jun
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Baseball Cardinals stunned in sectional semis

This was not the ending anyone envisioned.

Middleton’s baseball team won 20 games this year. The Cardinals tied for first place in the Big Eight Conference, were the No. 1 seed in their sectional and fully expected to keep their dream season alive.

But it all came to a crashing halt Tuesday.

Middleton fell behind DeForest, 6-0, after two innings of their WIAA Division 1 sectional semifinal. The Cardinals rallied back, but the early hole was too deep and the Norskies eventually notched a 7-5 win.

Middleton ended its season 20-8. DeForest, which tied for fourth place in the Northern Badger Conference, improved to 13-9.

Afterwards, this extremely close group of Cardinals — many who have been playing together for a decade — almost couldn’t grasp the fact that their year was over.

Thu
07
Jun
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Soccer Cardinals roll through regionals

Middleton girls’ soccer coach Mary Duffy has talked at length this season about the special group she’s been given.

How this collection of Cardinals appears poised to do things few other Middleton teams ever have.

Middleton will try doing just that this week.

The Cardinals won a WIAA Division 1 regional title last week with a pair of convincing wins. Middleton cruised past Janesville Parker, 12-0, in a regional semifinal last Thursday and toppled Watertown, 5-1, in a regional final last Saturday.

Top-seeded Middleton was slated to host Big Eight Conference foe and fourth-seeded Janesville Craig in a sectional semifinal Wednesday. The winner is scheduled to meet either second-seeded Kettle Moraine or third-seeded Sun Prairie in a sectional final Saturday at 5 p.m. in Kettle Moraine.

Thu
07
Jun
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Boys track team 11th at state

LA CROSSE — The momentum started in the fall when Middleton’s boys cross country team dominated the field to win the WIAA Division 1 state cross country title. It continued this past weekend at the WIAA state track and field championships.

Middleton’s distance athletes flooded the medal stand all weekend at Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex. Their success indicated that the Cardinals figure to continue rolling when school resumes next fall.

“I think it's just a testament to Middleton's program honestly,” said senior Jack Rader. “We've been strong for a number of years now. Our coaches are such a strong group of guys.”

Rader's third-place finish in the 3,200-meter run capped a successful weekend for the Cardinals, who finished 11th in the team standings with 21 points on the strength of its decorated distance runners.

Thu
07
Jun
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McGinnis, Tanin shine at state

LA CROSSE — Jen McGinnis and Sitori Tanin spent the entire track and field season challenging each other during practice in the triple jump.

“We just pushed each other,” Tanin said. “I'd have a good jump and then she'd go further than me.”

There's no jealously or anger in the tone of Tanin's voice when she says this. As a sophomore for the Cardinals, Tanin considers McGinnis, a senior, a role model and a close friend since starting high school.

They have shared many fun and competitive moments on and off the track the last two years. Last Friday afternoon they shared one more special moment when they both surpassed their pre-tournament expectations by grabbing medals in the triple jump at the WIAA Division 1 state track and field championships at the Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Wed
30
May
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Middleton golfers headed back to state

It’s the most stressful day of the golf season.

Sure, the two-day state tournament can be a nerve-wracking affair.

But sectionals — where every drive, chip and putt can determine if you live to play another round — is a far more taxing endeavor.

Middleton’s young guns — a group that included four players competing at sectionals for the first time — handled the pressure like seasoned veterans Tuesday afternoon.

The Cardinals shot a terrific 306, finished second at the Verona Sectional played at Edelweiss Country Club and earned a trip to the WIAA Division 1 state tournament. Verona won the sectional with a sizzling 296, while Waunakee was a distant third at 313.

The state tournament is Monday and Tuesday at University Ridge Golf Course. And after a one-year absence, Middleton returns to state for the fourth time in five years.

Wed
30
May
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Tennis Cardinals swing for greatness

Ryan Gold was optimistic.

But Middleton’s junior tennis standout admittedly had almost no idea where he’d be seeded for this week’s WIAA Division 1 individual state tournament.

“I’m thinking like (No.) 8 or 9 maybe,” Gold said the day before seeds were released. “I should get a seed. I’m just not sure where.”

Try No. 3.

Gold received the No. 3 seed in the 56-player tournament. Gold received a first round bye and meets the winner of Kenosha Indian Trail freshman Martin Blagoev (17-4) and Nicolet junior Ben Chester (22-8) Thursday at approximately 4 p.m.

Gold could have two matches Friday, and if he plays to his seed, he’ll advance to the state semifinals Saturday at 9 a.m. The championship match would be Saturday afternoon.

“I wasn't expecting a (No. 3) and I don't think Ryan was either,” Middleton coach Kalla Schaefer said. “I am excited for Ryan. It is a great opportunity for him.”

Wed
30
May
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MHS track athletes headed to state

In 2016, Middleton’s boys’ track and field team was a sectional champion. The Cardinals then went and finished second at the WIAA Division 1 state meet.

Middleton coach Joe Line is hoping for similar results in 2018.

Middleton won its own sectional last Thursday, finishing with 107 points to outdistance runner-up La Crosse Central (82). The Cardinals

qualified 10 individuals in seven events and one relay team for the state meet, which will be held Friday and Saturday at Veterans Memorial Stadium in La Crosse.

“Those guys who made it (to state) could all score,” Middleton coach Joe Line said. “That’s really big. Not only score, but be top three in some events.

“The sky’s the limit. If we have our perfect meet, we could do some damage.”

Mon
28
May
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Baseball Cards win share of Big 8 title

MADISON — The unsuspecting manager had just finished waxing poetically about his now championship team.

He took two steps to his left, realized he was a sitting duck, then was attacked by a group of teenagers with a water bucket.

Getting soaked never felt better for Tom Schmitt.

Middleton’s baseball team cruised to a 10-3 win over Madison East at Warner Park last Thursday. The Cardinals improved to 18-6 overall, 15-3 in the Big Eight Conference and clinched a share of their first league title since 2010.

Afterwards, Middleton’s players and assistant coaches lingered as Schmitt handled his media responsibilities. But when Schmitt finished those duties, his team pounced like they would on a 3-0 fastball.

And that was just fine with Schmitt.

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