Afternoon State Sports Briefs: State softball tournament underway
MADISON - Kenosha Bradford and Stevens Point have advanced to the Division 1 semifinals of the state high school softball tournament at Goodman Field on the University of Wisconsin campus.
Both teams won today's first quarter-finals in the state's top division. Kenosha Bradford eliminated Oshkosh West 1-0, on an RBI-single by Emily Hastings in the fifth inning. Stevens Point needed an extra inning to edge Germantown, 3-2. Leah Soik reached on an error by Germantown shortstop Addy Green with one out in the bottom of the eighth - and that scored pinch-runner Kyle Hodgson with the game-winner. Stevens Point improved to 26-4. Germantown ends its season at 18-3. Kenosha Bradford improved to 21-and-5, backed by a solid performance from pitcher Makenzie Walker. She tossed a four-hitter and struck out 14. Oshkosh West ends its campaign at 19-3. Point and Bradford will square off in tomorrow night's semi-finals. The other Division 1 semi-finalists are being determined this afternoon. Sun Prairie was facing Westosha Central, and Appleton East was to play Menomonee Falls. Semis in Division 2, which includes defending state champions Baldwin-Woodville, are set for tonight.
Former Milwaukee Bucks coach George Karl was let go today after eight-and-a-half seasons with the Denver Nuggets. Karl, the NBA's coach-of-the-year this past season, had one year left on his contract. There was talk that he wanted an extension. But the Nuggets are looking for a general manager after Masai Ujiri left for a similar post in Toronto. Denver officials apparently wanted the new GM to have a coach he's comfortable with. Karl joined Denver in January of 2005 after five seasons in Milwaukee. He led the Nuggets to a record of 423-257, with playoff appearances in each of his nine campaigns. However, the Nuggets were eliminated eight times in the first round. Their only playoff series wins came in 2009, when Denver made the Western Conference finals. This season, Karl led Denver to a team-record 57 regular season victories with the league's third-youngest roster. The 62-year-old Karl is a two-time cancer survivor - and he delegated more of his duties to assistants after he suffered throat cancer in 2010.
The University of Wisconsin men's basketball team will make an eight-day trip to Canada this summer. Bo Ryan's Badgers will play five exhibition games in late August. Two games are planned in Ottawa - August 21st against Carleton, and the 22nd against Ottawa University. The other three games will be played in Toronto. The Badgers will face the Canadian Junior National Team on August 24th, Ryerson University on the 25th, and the senior men's A-Game select team on August 26th. The Badgers hope to get some valuable practice time not only for six incoming freshmen - but for junior guard Josh Gasser who missed all of last season with a knee injury.
Wily Peralta will try to win back-to-back starts, when the Milwaukee Brewers open a four-game weekend series against Philadelphia tonight at Miller Park. It will be a rematch from last Saturday, when Peralta out-performed Tyler Cloyd. Peralta, a rookie right-hander, gave up two runs in seven innings to get his first victory since May seventh. He's 4-6 on the year with a 5.94 ERA. Cloyd, a right-hander, is 1-2 with a 4.76 ERA. He has two straight losses, after giving up three runs in seven innings against the Crew last Saturday. Philadelphia has a four-game winning streak after beating Milwaukee last Sunday and then winning three straight over Miami. The Phillies are second in the National League East, and can go above .500 with a victory this evening. The Brewers remain entrenched in last in the NL Central, two-and-a-half games behind the next-to-last-place Chicago Cubs.
Former Milwaukee Braves' star Johnny Logan will be inducted tonight into the Walk-of-Fame that's located outside Miller Park. An on-field ceremony begins at 6:40 p.m., a half-hour before the Brewers will start taking on Philadelphia. It was first announced in January that Logan received enough votes to qualify for the Walk-of-Fame, which features legends from both the Braves and the Brewers. Logan was listed on 72-percent of the ballots from Brewers' executives and Wisconsin media. He's the first Braves' player to be named to the Walk-of-Fame since Lew Burdette in 2010. Logan starred in Milwaukee from 1953-61. He appeared in four All-Star Games as he helped the Braves win the World Series in 1957 and the National League title in '58.
The Beloit Snappers will go for their second straight win tonight at Appleton against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. Beloit moved back into second place in the Midwest League's West Division with a 5-3 victory over the Timber Rattlers last evening. Beloit again holds the first-half Wild Card playoff spot in the West by a half-game over third-place Quad Cities. The Timber Rattlers took sole possession of second-to-last-place in the West, at 24-30. Today, East leader South Bend hosts a double-header against Lake County. The rest of the action is under the lights. Clinton plays at Peoria. Cedar Rapids hosts Quad Cities. Kane County is at Burlington. Fort Wayne plays at Lansing. West Michigan entertains Great Lakes. And Dayton is at Bowling Green.
Former UW-Superior baseball coach Eddy Morgan will become the new coach at Concordia University in Mequon. Morgan is no stranger at Concordia. The school's baseball stadium is Kapco Park, where he's managing the Lakeshore Chinooks' summer team in the Northwoods League after he was an assistant with the Chinooks in 2012. Morgan spent the last seven years as the head coach at Superior. His Yellow-Jackets won 105 games during that tenure, including 18 in the 2010 season. At Concordia, Morgan replaces Val Keiper - who stepped down last week after 30 years of leading the Falcons' program. He'll remain as an assistant under Morgan.
The Northern Athletics Conference announced a new name today. Starting July first, it will be known as the "Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference," or NACC. It's been known as the NAC ever since it began competing in 2006 with a group of Division III schools from Wisconsin and Illinois. Commissioner Steve Larson said his circuit has always been confused by the North Athletic Conference, which is also known as the NAC. Also, Larson says the change allowed the league to create more colorful logo of gray, light gold, and black. Maranatha Baptist Bible College of Watertown is withdrawing from the conference on June 30th to become an independent. Other Wisconsin schools in the circuit are the Milwaukee School of Engineering, Concordia University in Mequon, Edgewood of Madison, Lakeland of Sheboygan, Marian of Fond du Lac, and Wisconsin Lutheran of Milwaukee.