Softball Cardinals win a pair

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Beth Young and Middleton’s girls softball team had two big wins last week./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

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.

• Middleton 11, Janesville Parker 4 — Ellie Buza went the distance and picked up the win for the Cardinals. Buza allowed three earned runs, struck out four and didn’t walk a batter.

“Ellie challenged the batters, which was great to see, and our fielders did a solid job,” said Hibner, who noted Buza faced three or four batters in five of the seven innings and didn’t walk a batter. “When she is getting ahead in the count, that makes it tough on the batters.”

Middleton’s Beth Young had a big day at the plate, going 3-for-4, while CC Hiorns was 2-for-3. Both Sam Williams and Olivia Hebert added two hits.

In the first inning, Ashley Bindl’s sacrifice fly scored Jenna Redders and gave Middleton a 1-0 lead. In the second, Williams walked and Brynn Thayer doubled to right to put runners on second and third. Williams scored on a wild pitch and Young singled to center with two strikes to score Thayer and give Middleton a 3-0 edge.

Parker tied things up with two runs in the third and another in fourth. Then Middleton erupted for four runs in the fifth.

Hiorns doubled to center, Bindl singled, then Hebert singled to score Hiorns. Bindl scored on a double steal, Rachael Roberts walked and Williams bunted for a single.

Hebert scored on a passed ball. Then with two outs, Redders walked to score Williams. 

Middleton then added four more in the seventh. The big blow was Hebert's double that hit off the left center wall to score two.

“We hit the ball well at times and played small ball when it was needed,” Hibner said. “We did a better job against (Parker starter) Courtney Naber than we have done in past years.

“She has had our number and has a nice changeup to compliment her mid-50s fastball. But we put a lot more balls in play this game than previously.”

• Middleton 3, Janesville Craig 2 — Brynn Thayer picked up the win for Middleton, allowing two earned runs in seven innings while striking out eight and issuing no walks.

“Brynn pitched a solid game,” said Hibner, who noted she had three 1-2-3 innings. “She really kept them off balance and moved the ball around.”

Middleton trailed, 1-0, in the bottom of the first when Redders led off with a double to left off Katie Kealy. Hiorns beats out a bunt to put runners on the corners, then Hiorns stole second. Bindl grounded out to short to score Redders and Hebert grounded out to second to score Hiorns.

“Good teams rarely give you extra outs or let you have big innings,” Hibner said. “That makes it even more important to score runners on third with less than two outs. Groundouts certainly aren't exciting, but Ashley and Olivia did a solid job getting Jenna and CC home to give us the lead.”

Middleton added a run in the bottom of the fourth when Rachael Roberts led off with a triple to left center and scored on single to left by Williams.

Craig added a run in the fifth and closed within 3-2. Then in the seventh, Craig put the leadoff runner on, but Thayer got the next three batters to bunt into a sacrifice out, fly out and ground out to end the game.

“We weren't patient enough at times at the plate, but their pitchers also did a very nice job of battling and keeping us guessing,” Hibner said. “We've won our fair share of blowouts this year so it was nice to find a way to win in a tight game, even if it did add more gray hairs to my head.”

• Bindl named to all-star game: Middleton third baseman Ashley Bindl was named to the WFSCA Senior All-Star Game on June 17-18 at Woodside Complex in Wisconsin Dells. 

Bindl is the fifth MHS player to be selected since 2016. The others were Shelby Ballweg (2016), Rachel Everson and Makenzie Kopp (2017) and Jessica Parente (2018).

Bindl is a three-year varsity letterwinner and has been second-team All-Big Eight Conference the past two seasons. Bindl currently leads the Cardinals in runs scored (19), and is second in RBIs (15) and stolen bases (eight).

“Ashley is very deserving and we are thrilled that she will get a chance to represent our program at this great event,” Hibner said. “She is a special player and a great teammate.”


April 15

Middleton 11, Janesville Parker 4

Middleton ……………….. 120 040 4 — 11 11 1

Janesville Parker ………. 002 100 1 — 4 6 3

Pitchers (ip-h-er-so-bb): Buza (W; 7-6-3-4-0), Naber (L; 5-8-7-2-5), Getka (2-3-0-2-2). Leading hitters: Young (M) 3x4, Hiorns (M) 2x3, S. Williams (M) 2x4, Hebert (M) 2x5, Luek (JP) 2x3, G. Williams (JP) 2x3. HR: Luek. 2B — Hebert, Hiorns, Thayer (M), Young 2.


April 16

Middleton 3, Janesville Craig 2

Janesville Craig …………… 100 010 0 — 2 7 0

Middleton …………………… 200 100 x — 3 8 2

Pitchers (ip-h-er-so-bb): Kealy (L; 2-4-2-1-1), Meyer (4-4-1-1-0), Thayer (W; 7-7-2-8-0). Leading hitters: Wacholtz (JC) 2x4, Hiorns (M) 2x3, Williams (2x3). 3B: Humphrey (JC), Roberts (M). 2B: Flint (JC), Horst (M), Redders (M).

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