Softball Cardinals sprint to 5-0 start

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Middleton ace Ellie Buza notched 26 strikeouts in her first 17 innings to help the Cardinals race to a 5-0 start./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

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.”

Through five games, Middleton has a team ERA of just 1.81. Ace Ellie Buza has 26 strikeouts in just 17 innings, while five players are hitting at least .500.

Senior Olivia Hebert is leading the way at the plate with a slugging percentage of 1.059, three home runs and 11 RBI. Three players have an on-base percentage of at least .500, and five have an OBP of more than .400.

Here’s a recap of Middleton’s games:

• Middleton 11, Madison East 0 (5) — Ellie Buza threw a five-inning no-hitter and struck out eight as the Cardinals rolled past the Purgolders on April 27.

Returning first-team all-Big Eight Conference players CC Hiorns and Olivia Hebert both went 3-for-3 and Hebert clubbed her first home run of the year. Bailey Flock also went 2-for-3 and drove in four runs from the No. 9 spot in the lineup.

• Middleton 5, River Valley 1 — The Cardinals toppled visiting River Valley on April 29.

Charlotte Yingling received her first start of the season and threw two innings. Ellie Buza was stellar in relief, striking out eight and holding the Blackhawks to just one run on three hits in five innings to earn the win.

Middleton blew the game open with a four-run third inning. CC Hiorns Bailey Flock had a pair of hits for the Cardinals, while Buza helped herself with a pair of RBI.

• Middleton 18, Madison East 2 (5) — The Cardinals pounded out 12 hits and benefitted from seven errors in a game stopped after five innings due to the mercy rule on April 30.

Jenna Redders had three hits for Middleton, while Mackenzie Zimmerman and McKenzie Pertzborn both had two hits and three RBIs. Giovanna Iossa also had three RBIs for the Cardinals.

Bailey Flock threw four innings for the Cardinals and earned the win. Flock struck out four and allowed two runs.

The Cardinals’ offense was in overdrive throughout. Middleton scored eight runs in the first inning, three in both the second and third innings, and four in the fourth.

• Middleton 12, Oregon 4 (Game 1) — Olivia Hebert had a home run, a double and drove in three runs to power the Cardinals past the Panthers on June 1. Jenna Redders and Erin Schleusner had two RBI each and Mackenzie Zimmerman notched a pair of doubles and scored twice.

Middleton pounded out 13 hits and broke open a tight game with a five-run seventh.

Ellie Buza pitched a complete game for the Cardinals and picked up the win. Buza struck out 10 and allowed seven hits.

• Middleton 9, Oregon 3 (Game 2) — The Cardinals banged out 15 hits and toppled the Panthers in the second game of a doubleheader.

Olivia Hebert had four RBI and another home run for Middleton, while Abby Zumbrunnen had three hits and three RBI. Jenna Redders added three hits for the Cardinals, while Mackenzie Zimmerman had two hits.

Bailey Flock threw a complete-game, six hitter to lead Middleton. Flock struck out seven and walked three.

“It probably sounds like a broken record by now, but once again, huge team effort,” Carl said.


April 27


Madison East ………….. 000 00 — 0 0 2

Middleton ………………. 251 3x — 11 13 1

Leading hitters: ME: Wilcox (BI), Stiegel (R). Mid: Hebert 3x3 (HR, 2R, 2B, 3BI), Flock 2x2 (2R, 4BI).

Pitchers (ip-h-r-er-so-bb) — ME: Wilcox (L; 4-13-11-9-0-1); Mid: Buza (W; 5-0-1-0-8-1). At Firefighters Park, Middleton.


April 29


River Valley ……………. 000 001 0 — 1 3 2

Middleton …………….. 004 100 x — 5 6 2

Pitchers (ip-h-r-er-so-bb) — RV: Hahn (L; 6-6-5-3-3-3); M: Yingling (2-0-0-0-0-4), Buza (W, 5-3-1-0-8-1).

Leading hitters — M: Hiorns 2x3 (2B); Flock 2x3; Buza (2BI). At Firefighters Park, Middleton.


April 30


Middleton …………… 833 40 — 18 12 2

Madison East ………. 100 10 — 2 4 7

Pitchers (ip-h-r-er-so-bb) — Mid: Flock (W; 4-2-2-2-4-2), Yingling (1-2-0-0-1-1); ME: Robinson (L; 1-5-8-2-0-1), Wilcox (4-7-10-3-4-2).

Leading hitters — Mid: Redders 3x4 (2BI), Zimmerman 2x3 (3R, 3BI), Flock (3B, 2R), Hiorns (2BI), Iosso (3BI), Pertzborn (3BI); ME: Ehrlinger 2x3 (HR), Robinson (2B). At Olbrich Park.


May 1


Middleton …………. 130 021 5 — 12 13 1

Oregon ……………. 010 000 3 — 4 7 2

Pitchers (ip-h-r-er-so-bb) — M: Buza (W, 7-7-4-4-10-3); D: Spilde (L; 6-9-7-6-5-1).

Leading hitters — M: Hebert 2x4 (2B, HR, 3BI), Schleusner 2x4 (3B, 2BI), Zimmerman 2x4 (2 2B, 2R), Redders 2x4 (2B, 2BI), Buza 3x3, Boycks (2R), Zumbrunnen (3B); Or: Bloyer 3x4 (2 2B), Berman (HR).



May 1

Second game


Middleton ………….. 101 210 4 — 9 15 1

Oregon …………….. 100 200 0 — 3 6 4

Pitchers (ip-h-r-er-so-bb) — M: Flock (7-6-3-2-7-3); Or: Crowe (6-12-8-5-3-0), Etienne (1-3-1-1-1-0).

Leading hitters — M: Zumbrunnen 3x5 (3B, 3BI), Redders 3x4, Hebert 2x4 (HR, 2R, 4BI), Zimmerman 2x4 (2B), Flock 2x4; Or: Bloyer 2x4 (2B).


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