Afternoon State Sports Briefs: Ball cleared for conditioning workWisconsin Sports
-- University of Wisconsin running back Montee Ball has been cleared for conditioning work, after he suffered his second concussion in two months during last Saturday’s win over Texas-El Paso.
MADISON - University of Wisconsin running back Montee Ball has been cleared for conditioning work, after he suffered his second concussion in two months during last Saturday’s win over Texas-El Paso.
Badgers’ head coach Bret Bielema said today that the senior Ball has not been cleared for full-contact work yet – but if he keeps making progress, Ball would return to a full practice on Thursday. Bielema told a Big Ten media teleconference today that Ball’s timetable is a quote, “standard normal procedure for someone who has been in his situation.” Ball will be evaluated again today – and if all goes well, he’ll be checked out again tomorrow with the possibility of returning to practice on Thursday or Friday.
The Milwaukee Brewers are 5-2 on their crucial 10-game road trip. And they hope to make some hay against the Reds in Cincinnati the next three days. The Reds have clinched the National League Central Division for the second time in three years, while the Brewers are charging back in an effort to grab the final NL Wild Card spot. But Milwaukee’s hopes are fading as time runs out. The Brewers are three-and-a-half behind Saint Louis for the final playoff spot, and the Cards’ magic number is six to eliminate the Crew. Still, after being as many as 12 games back for the Wild Card a month ago, Milwaukee has clawed back to five games above .500 by winning 25-of-its-last-33. Tonight, rookie right-hander Mike Fiers starts for the Crew against Reds’ right-hander Johnny Cueto. Fiers is 9-8 with a 3.83 ERA. He was roughed up at Pittsburgh last Thursday, throwing 81 pitches in just over three innings. Cueto is 18-9 with a 2.84 ERA. He pitched six scoreless innings in his last start, a 5-3 win over the Chicago Cubs last Thursday. It was Cueto’s first victory in four appearances this month.
The Milwaukee Bucks have signed veteran guard Marquis Daniels for the 15th-and-final spot on their roster. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel said the 31-year-old Daniels signed a one-year deal worth one-point-two million dollars. That’s the minimum for a veteran with at least nine years’ of NBA experience. General manager John Hammond said Daniels has been a part of winning organizations, and will provide a veteran presence to the Bucks. Daniels played with Boston last season, where he averaged just over three-points in 38 regular season contests. He has played in 489 NBA games in his career, with 113 starts and an average of just over eight-points a night. Daniels had a spinal cord injury in February of 2011, but he recovered after having surgery in the summer of last year.
University of Wisconsin senior Ashley Beutler was named today as the Big Ten women’s cross country runner-of-the-week. Beutler, who is from New Glarus, led the Badgers to the team title at the Panorama Farms Invitational in Virginia last weekend. She placed fourth overall, with a time of 17-minutes, 43-point-eight seconds over five kilometers.
Ryley Bailey and Ryan McWethy, both of UW-Platteville, have been named the WIAC football players-of-the-week along with Ricky Marteney of UW-Stout. Bailey, a junior receiver, caught 11 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns in Platteville’s 49-19 pasting of Eau Claire last week. The receptions and yardage were the most by a Platteville receiver in just over two years. McWethy, a senior safety, had an interception for Platteville in that same game. And he had 18 tackles, the most by a Pioneer since October of 2004. Marteny, a junior kicker, booted two field goals and two extra points for Stout in its 20-9 win over River Falls. The WIAC also recognized Brandon Chmiel of Platteville and Alex Holmes of Oshkosh in men’s soccer – Gina Williams and Nina Behrenbinker, both of Eau Claire, in women’s soccer – Jeremy Kieser and Ashlyn Mauer, both of Eau Claire, in men’s-and-women’s cross country – Molly Brion of Stout in volleyball – Nicole Westcott of Whitewater in women’s golf – Jackie Vitale of Whitewater in women’s singles tennis – and Katie Gillman and Taylor Heltne of Eau Claire in women’s doubles.
Willow Macy of Beloit College is the Midwest Conference defensive women’s soccer player-of-the-week. Macy, a freshman goalkeeper, had 18 saves last week as she went 2-0-1 for the Buccaneers. Sheboygan native Michelle Greeneway of Lake Forest was honored as the top women’s soccer player on offense.
Mallory Palmer of Edgewood College has been named the Northern Athletics Conference volleyball player-of-the-week. Palmer, a senior outside hitter, became only the second Edgewood player to have 15-hundred career kills. She had 61 kills in four matches last week, along with 54 digs and 10 blocks. The NAC also honored Jordan Werner and Paula Bohl, both of Milwaukee School of Engineering, in men’s-and-women’s soccer – Joe Bertram of Marian in men’s golf – and Morgan Wilson of Edgewood in women’s tennis.
Brittany Groth of UW-Green Bay has been named the Horizon League’s defensive volleyball player-of-the-week. Groth, a senior, averaged almost seven digs per set last weekend in Green Bay’s win over Youngstown State, and a loss to Cleveland State. Groth ranks third in the NCAA’s Division-One with five-point-nine-six digs per set for the season. Kara Koch of Cleveland State is the league’s top player on offense.
The University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team is ranked 15th in a pre-season poll from USA Today and USA Hockey Magazine. The Badgers are in the Top-15 for the first time since February of 2011, when they were ranked 14th. Wisconsin went 17-18-2 a year ago. But coach Mike Eaves has all but one of his top-16 scorers back – as well as two returning goaltenders and a talented freshman class. Defending NCAA champion Boston College is tied with Minnesota for the top spot in the pre-season poll.