Sports

Thu
02
May
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Softball Cardinals split a pair

Verona, Sun Prairie and Beloit Memorial’s girls softball team have surged to the head of the Big Eight Conference.

Middleton is hoping to lead the ‘Best of the Rest.’

The Cardinals took a step in that direction last week, and can take another one this week.

Middleton cruised past Madison East, 14-1, in a game stopped after six innings last Tuesday. The Cardinals then fell to Verona, 8-0, last Thursday and are now 8-7 overall and tied for fourth in the league at 5-5.

The good news for Middleton, though, is the schedule softens down the stretch. And the Cardinals have a chance to close the regular season with a bang.
“Well, we won't play Beloit Memorial or Sun Prairie again until late in the season, so the schedule allows us the opportunity to get some momentum going,” Middleton manager Perry Hibner said. “However, it's pretty apparent those teams, along with Verona, have again separated themselves from the rest of us.

Thu
02
May
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Boys track team shines at Middleton Invite

If the Middleton Relays taught Middleton’s boys track team anything, it’s that their distance teams can likely compete against anyone in the state. 

The Cardinals,  who feature many of the same runners from the state qualifying cross country team, swept the distance events in the diverse 11-team field at the Relays last Friday.

The distance runners made it look easy and helped Middleton finish with 107.33 points and a second place team finish at Breitenbach Stadium. Verona won the meet with 139 points, while Madison Memorial was third with 99 points

Middleton’s second team in the meet, Middleton White, finished ninth with 26 points.

“I was really pleased with the meet tonight, especially seeing other Big Eight teams load their relays and knowing where we stand against them,” said Middleton coach Joe Line. “For our guys competition-wise, it was good to have success but it was also good to get beat in events so we can see where we’re at moving forward.”

Thu
02
May
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Girls third at Middleton Invite

When asked what it was like going up against 10 other teams in the Middleton Relays last Friday, the Cardinals’ girls track and field team agreed on one thing: competing in a meet this size shows them where they stand and that definitely pushes them.

Middleton had a strong showing and finished in third place with 109 points. Madison Memorial won the event with 139 points, while Waunakee was second (115).

“Usually at meets when we go to duals we win by a lot, and that’s not to say we’re the best, but we are just at a higher level when competing,” said Middleton senior Hadley Braaten. “Tonight, we were a little bit closer and it was a little bit harder; it made us work really hard with all these other teams here.”

Middleton coach Cory Christnovich was pleased with the third-place finish at the Relays.

Thu
25
Apr
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Tennis Cardinals put on a show

Middleton’s boys tennis team went an impressive 4-0 at the Madison Memorial Spartan Invite last weekend.

The Cardinals defeated Kenosha Tremper, 7-0, and downed Sun Prairie, 5-2, last Friday. Middleton then rolled past Lake Geneva Badger, 6-1, and edged Green Bay Southwest, 4-3, last Saturday.

“The team as a whole really stepped up this weekend and started to show how good we can be when we play our best tennis,” Middleton coach Tony Mirasola said.

Middleton doubles teams went 11-1 in the four matches. And Cardinals’ top singles player Ryan Gold went 3-1 against elite competition.

“Our doubles teams really played with a lot of energy and were very focused over the course of the weekend,” Mirasola said. “I feel like the team really fed off the way they played and that helped to lead us to a lot of team success. Ryan also played his best tennis of the year this weekend, beating most likely three top-10 players over the course of four matches.”

Thu
25
Apr
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Softball Cardinals win a pair

A trip through the Big Eight softball schedule is quite similar to a journey through the Big Ten’s men’s basketball slate.

The depth of the league is daunting. There aren’t any off nights. And if you can hold your own, great things could await.

Middleton’s softball team continues to hang tough and got itself back on track with a pair of impressive wins last week.

The Cardinals defeated host Janesville Parker, 11-4, on April 15. Middleton then edged visiting Janesville Craig, 3-2, on April 16.

The Cardinals also fell to Sun Prairie on April 18 and are now 7-6 overall and 4-4 in the league.

“Those were two good wins,” Middleton manager Perry Hibner said. “Craig and Parker are solid teams.

“All three of us, along with Madison Memorial, are probably just below Verona, Sun Prairie and Beloit Memorial. We did a pretty good job in each game in every phase of the game.”

Here’s a recap of the Cardinals’ two wins.

Thu
25
Apr
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Big 8 will have eight teams for football

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control passed a statewide football-only conference realignment proposal on April 17.

That means Janesville Craig and Janesville Parker will exit the Big Eight Conference in 2020. Those two schools will become part of the Badger Large Conference, and the Big Eight will again have a true eight teams.

“I’ve been under the assumption for like a year now it would pass,” Middleton coach Jason Pertzborn said. “Everybody was planning for it, expecting it.”

The Board unanimously approved its final consideration of the football-only conference proposal crafted by the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association. First approval of the plan was granted by the Board with a 9-2 vote at its meeting in March.

Fri
19
Apr
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Top-ranked girls soccer team far from content

Mary Duffy hasn’t heard a peep about it from her team.

Duffy, Middleton’s girls soccer coach, isn’t sure if her Cardinals know they’re ranked No. 1 in the latest Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association poll. And really, Duffy doesn’t care.

While the honor is a nice one for Duffy and the Cardinals, they all know what truly matters is who’s No. 1 in June.

“Maybe they know they are ranked No. 1, but that hasn't been a focus or even a whisper at practice,” Duffy said. “These girls don't care if they are No. 1 now. What they want is the chance to play for No. 1 at the end. In fact, they just want to play.”

That didn't happen last week.

Middleton was scheduled to play defending WIAA Division 1 state champion Bay Port and Appleton North in a tournament at the Woodside Complex in Wisconsin Dells. Instead, the tournament was cancelled due to inclement weather.

Fri
19
Apr
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Softball Cards staying positive

Discouraged? Downcast? Dispirited?

Hardly.

Middleton’s girls softball team dropped four straight games last week, pushing its overall losing streak to five. However, Cardinals’ manager Perry Hibner certainly saw some positives after his team lost to Verona and Beloit Memorial in Big Eight Conference play before falling to perennial power Stevens Point in a doubleheader last Saturday in Poynette.

“We competed pretty well in all four games,” Hibner said. “The girls also realized just what it takes if we want to play with the top teams in our conference and the state.

“We can't afford mental and physical lapses and we had a few in each game. These games reinforced what we have been saying, that if we stop giving teams extra outs with mistakes in the field and hit the ball where it is pitched we can play with anyone.”

Fri
19
Apr
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West edges baseball Cards

Baseball is — and always has — been about the little things.

Monday afternoon, Madison West did those little things and Middleton didn’t. The result was a 3-2 win for the Regents.

Middleton fell to 3-2 in the Big Eight Conference and 4-2 overall. West improved to 3-0, 4-1.

“The game is about little things and you have to make sure you’re focusing on them every day,” Middleton manager Brent Jorgensen said. “You never know when they’re going to come into play for you.”

They came into play throughout this contest, played on a brutally cold day with heavy wind gusts. West made the most of its opportunities throughout and scored the game-winning run in the seventh inning.

The teams had been deadlocked, 2-2, since the second inning when West’s John Frehner led off the seventh with a single. Max Hanson laid down a bunt, and Middleton relief pitcher Ben Collier bobbled the ball for an error, allowing both runners to reach base.

Thu
11
Apr
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Middleton golfers mining for gold

The 2018 boys golf season had been over for about 10 minutes.

Middleton’s Kip Sullivan stood near the 18th green at University Ridge last June where his Cardinals had just finished sixth at the WIAA Division 1 state tournament. Sullivan then fired off a warning shot for 2019.

“We want to be the team to beat,” Sullivan said. “That’s the way we look at it.”

And that’s what the Cardinals are now intent on proving.

Middleton brought back four of its top five golfers from a year ago. And the Cardinals proved at the season-opening Wisconsin Dells Invite they just might be the team to beat in 2019.

Middleton fired a 433 to easily win the 27-hole tournament that included nine holes at Trappers Turn last Friday and 18 holes at Coldwater Canyon last Saturday. Holmen and Waunakee tied for second at 460, while Mount Horeb (472) and Marshfield (497) rounded out the top five.

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