WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Superior to leave the WIAC after more than 100 years
SUPERIOR -- School presidents in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference voted yesterday to let U-W Superior join their league in a year from now. Superior will leave the W-I-A-C after more than 100 years in that conference. The Yellow-jackets hope their move to the UMAC will cut down on travel costs, and let them compete against schools with smaller enrollments which are more similar to theirs. W-I-A-C Commissioner Gary Karner said it's never desirable to lose a charter member of the conference, like Superior was -- but he agreed that the move is clearly in the best interest of the school and its athletic program. The W-I-A-C will be left with eight members, but Superior will continue to have hockey teams in the league because the UMAC does not offer the sport. After next year, the W-I-A-C will lose its automatic bid to the N-C-A-A Division-Three baseball tournament because Superior's departure will leave the conference one team short of the seven needed for a guaranteed slot.
The N-F-L Draft begins at seven o'clock tonight -- and once again, Packer fans will have to stay up late if they want to see who Green Bay takes first. General manager Ted Thompson has the 21st pick in the first round. The Packers have a big need at safety, but there's at least some speculation that they could take inside linebackers C-J Mosley of Alabama or Ryan Shazier of Ohio State if they're still available. The Packers struck gold a year ago, when their second round running back Eddie Lacy became the N-F-L's rookie-of-the-year. For now, at least, Thompson has nine picks -- one in each of the seven rounds, plus compensatory picks after the third and fifth rounds for losing free agents Greg Jennings and Erik Walden a year ago. The first round is scheduled to take place tonight. The other six rounds will play out tomorrow night and Saturday.
For the second time in a week, the Wisconsin football team has recruited an offensive lineman for its freshman class-of-2015. David Moorman of Pinckney Michigan tweeted yesterday that he gave an oral commitment to the Badgers for a year from now. Moorman is a 6-5, 275-pound tackle who also received offers from Minnesota, Illinois, Cincinnati, and Central-and-Western Michigan. Moorman is the Badgers' fifth known commitment for next year. Last Sunday, the Badgers were given a commitment from Seymour High School lineman Jon Dietzen.
The Milwaukee Brewers still have the National League's best record after losing at home to Arizona yesterday, 3-to-2. The Brewers lost twice in their three-game series against the team with the N-L's worst mark. The Diamondbacks are now 13-and-24. Milwaukee fell to 22-and-13, still with a four-game lead over second-place Saint Louis in the Central Division. The Brewers remain cold on offense. The Crew scored in the first inning on a double-play grounder, but Bronson Arroyo never let the Crew get past second base in the rest of his seven-and-a-third innings. Arroyo gave up five hits as he improved to 3-and-2. Addison Reed earned his tenth save, as he snuffed out a Milwaukee rally in the ninth. Lyle Overbay drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, but Mark Reynolds struck out swinging to end the game. Paul Goldschmidt put the Diamondbacks in front for good with a two-run homer in the third off Wily Peralta, who gave up a career-high-tying 11 hits and two runs in six frames. Peralta dropped to 4-and-2. The Brewers were out-hit 14-to-7 without sluggers Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez in the lineup. Braun is due to return next week from a strained right oblique muscle. Ramirez was given yesterday off to try and clear his head in the midst of a 3-for-48 slump. The Brewers are off today, and will host the New York Yankees tomorrow night.
In college baseball, Division-Three Wisconsin Lutheran beat Division-One U-W Milwaukee for the first time ever, 3-to-1 yesterday on the Panthers' home field. U-W-M is now 12-and-1 all-time against the Warriors. Josh Ruppel gave up one run on four hits in seven-plus innings to get the win. He walked three and struck out three, as he improved to 4-and-4. Jaime Paumen retired the final five Milwaukee batters for his first save of the season. Ryan Solberg went 3-for-4 with an R-B-I for U-W-M. He also stole a pair of bases, and is just two shy of the Milwaukee season record of 24. The Panthers dropped to 17-and-23. Wisconsin Lutheran improved to 20-and-19.
Top-seeded U-W Green Bay won its Horizon League Tournament opener last night, 5-to-2 over Youngstown State in Dayton Ohio. The Phoenix broke a scoreless tie by scoring four times in the fourth inning, and hung on from there. Abby Brinkmeier highlighted the rally with a three-run double. Samantha Snodgrass belted a solo homer for fourth-seeded Youngstown State, which was held to two hits. Green Bay advanced in the winner's bracket of the double-elimination tournament. The Phoenix' next game is tomorrow morning against third-seeded Valparaiso.
Wisconsin softball senior Mary Massei has made the All-Big Ten first team for the second year in a row. Two other Badgers were named to the all-conference second squad -- sophomore Taylor Paige-Stewart and senior Michelle Mueller. Massei, an outfielder, led Wisconsin in the regular season with a .387 batting average and 63 hits. She is now the U-W's all-time leader in batting average, on-base percentage, hits, runs scored, doubles, and triples. Mueller, a third baseman, became the fourth player in N-C-A-A history to homer in three straight at-bats. Stewart went 14-and-5 on the mound for Wisconsin, and was 7-and-1 in Big Ten play. She struck out 118 in 138 regular season innings. Michigan sophomore shortstop Sierra Romero was named the league's player-of-the-year. The fourth-seeded Badgers will play either host Northwestern or Michigan State tomorrow night at the Big Ten softball tournament in Evanston Illinois.