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Sweet finish to a dream season PDF Print E-mail
Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 15:50

Bares-fueled surges, hard-nosed defense carry Ozaukee team to eye-opening state soccer title

With a four-year goal of reaching the state level already realized, Katie Bares, Erika Karrels and Mickey Burns weren’t about to stop.

The trio of Ozaukee seniors and a strong supporting cast didn’t just advance to the WIAA Division 3 girls’ state soccer tournament last weekend, they
ruled it.

One day after knocking off last year’s state champion, the Warriors throttled Prairie School, 3-1, to claim a championship of their own Saturday at Uihlein
Soccer Park in Milwaukee.

Ozaukee combined a defensive shell that budged but rarely broke with an opportunistic offense to claim its fourth WIAA title in six state trips.

“I’m really excited and happy. It was a great way to end the season,” Burns said.

“It’s just amazing, ending my senior year with this. It’s just been a really fun year,” said Bares, who scored twice, including a goal worthy of a
“Sportscenter” highlight reel.

“Crazy,” Karrels said. “For the seniors, I’m glad we went out the way we did and I’m really proud of them.”

Entering the title game, Ozaukee (21-1-2) had made a habit of grabbing early leads in playoff games and then buckling down defensively. The strategy —
which Warriors coach Eric Liebergen called the “Dick Bennett style of soccer” in tribute to the former University of Wisconsin basketball coach — resulted
in hair-pulling, heart-racing pressure that paid off.

Saturday was no different, but it came with a twist, thanks to two Ozaukee co-captains.

Pitching gem keeps Rockets on CLC roll PDF Print E-mail
Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 15:46

Bares’ one-hitter helps CG-Belgium sweep twin bill, stretch win streak to seven

It couldn’t have gotten much better for pitcher Spencer Bares on Monday night.

Just a little bit, but not much.

With two outs in the seventh inning at Sheboygan Lutheran/Kohler, a grounder got through the Cedar Grove-Belgium infield, ruining Bares’ shot at a no-hitter.

An infield error — the Rockets’ only blemish of the game — then wiped out a shutout, but this was still Bares’ night.

The Rockets won, 3-1, in the first game of a Central Lakeshore Conference doubleheader. In the second game, Justin Obbink allowed only two hits in leading Cedar Grove-Belgium to a 6-1 victory.

Rockets coach Mike Ruppel said he thought Bares could have gotten the no-hitter if the grounder had been fielded, but was still pleased with the one-hit performance of his ace. The junior struck out six, walked two and hit one batter.

“He pitched one heck of a game. I couldn’t have been much happier with what he did,” Ruppel said.

Offensively, the Rockets got a two-run triple from Brian Mueller in the second inning, and Bares was 1-for-3. That’s all the offense Bares needed.

Obbink barely needed any offense in the second game, striking out eight, walking one and hitting one batter.

Jim Simmelink went 3-for-3 with a walk, and Bares was 2-for-3 with a double.

Slugfest approach suits Hawks fine PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 15:44

Offensive fireworks abound as Grafton baseball team puts hit on Homestead, Nicolet

No one can accuse the Grafton High School baseball team of lacking punch at the plate — especially after last week.

All the Black Hawks did in a pair of North Shore Conference wins was pound out 27 runs on 30 hits, including a 16-14 slugfest victory over Homestead at Rennicke Field on Friday.

Facing a 5-3 deficit, Grafton exploded for four runs in the fifth and nine runs in the sixth. The fireworks staked the Hawks to a 16-7 lead, just enough for them to escape after Homestead countered with a seven-run sixth.

“It was one of the most challenging games I’ve ever had to coach,” said Grafton coach Brian Durst, whose team evened its league record at 4-4.

“It was real wild. Both sides kept fighting back and deserve a lot of credit for being so resilient.”

Despite committing five errors, Grafton prevailed by unleashing a 14-hit attack. Five Hawks each had at least two hits, led by Choo Weisflog, who was 3-for-5 with four RBI and four runs scored.

Grafton’s other offensive leaders included Beau Benzschawel (3-for-4, three RBI), Nate Lukas (2-for-5, four RBI), Al Nennig (2-for-2, two RBI) and Brett Rasmussen (2-for-3).

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