OAK CREEK GIRLS SOFTBALL
There's a matter of some unfinished business for the experienced Knights this season after a 19-9 WIAA sectional final season that came up inches short of the state tournament with a 4-3 loss to Kenosha Bradford.
'We will have quite a bit of returning experience, with nine kids coming back from last year's team,' said coach Jeff Trask. 'Nicky Widenski(pitcher) and Madison Hart (outfielder) will be four-year starters, while Brooke Lipinski(infield), Katie Mitchell (infield) and Tori Golden (infield) will be three-year starters, and Selena Bento(infield), Haili Cota(outfield), Payton Strong(outfield), Becca Oleniczak and Becca Skrobis(infield) will be two-year players.'
Both Widenski and Hart were battle-tested this winter as starters on the state-bound Knight girls basketball team.
'Newcomers to our varsity will be Sam Reineck, AJ Hecker, Ashley Risticand Sarah Traxel,' Trask said. 'Hopefully we can pick up where we left off from last year. I think our kids are very motivated and have shown a great work ethic and focus so far, even though the weather is making it tough to be excited. Once the weather cooperates, we're anxious to get a game in so we know what we need to focus on.'
Oak Creek was second in the Southeast Conference last season.
The Knights are slated for three games this week and then will visit archrival Franklin at 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 18. They will host high-powered Greenfield in a Wednesday, April 20 nonconference rain make-up.
FRANKLIN GIRLS SOFTBALL
The Sabers will be pitching deep this season but will be looking for help almost everywhere else, said coach Jenny Rechlicz.
'We have a very unique group this year, ' she said. 'We lost seven starters from last season (off a 15-12 team) but return both pitchers, Fatime Sino, who just signed with Cardinal Stritch, and junior Megan Lee.
'Our coaching staff is expecting a lot out of the duo this season. We also return catcher Lizzy Versnik,who saw significant time behind the plate last season. This season we came in for the first time in four years without a shortstop and decided the best one to fill that role not only athletically but leadership-wise was Karissa Minster, who played first for us last season.
'However, what makes our team so unique is the leadership out of our returning seniors, including Katie Zakszewski and Brianna Mosleythat return to us from last season. They have created an atmosphere around the team that is unlike any I've been around in a long time.
'Practices have been more productive and more challenging than they have been since I've been here, and I credit it all to those returning seniors taking the new players in under their wings and really pushing each other. We have very high expectations this year even though we are going up against some very tough competition in the SEC and have a difficult nonconference schedule.'
The Sabers will have four games in what promises to be a sunny and warming week, including at 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 15, at Whitnall and then as host to Oak Creek at 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 18.
OAK CREEK GIRLS SOCCER
The Knights had only three wins last season but are thinking positively going into this season, said coach Martin Castro.
'We are returning 10 starters and have added five freshman to varsity,' said Castro. 'We expect all five freshman to compete for minutes on the pitch. We feel we have more depth this year, which will force players to step up their level of play if they want to see the field. Last season we only registered three wins and would like to double that this season.'
The Knights have nine seniors on the team, including co-captains Hannah Ciesielczyk(defender) and Janeen Zelten (forward). Junior defender Bella Martinezis also a co-captain. Other seniors included midfielders Allie Tarczewski, Cassidy Frelka, and Rachel Chilson; defenders Catherine Fefferand Maddie and Ariel Holten; and keeper Jackie Holten.
Oak Creek is off to an 0-2 start, including 1-0 loss to Cudahy on April 7 and 3-1 decision to Greendale on April 5. They will host West Allis Hale at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 14.
FRANKLIN GIRLS SOCCER
The Sabers improved to 2-0-1 on the young season as they tied area rival Greendale, 1-1, on April 8 after beating Greenfield, 3-0, on April 6.
In the victory over Greenfield, Samantha Wielandhad one score, and two more came from freshman Karina Valdavia( assists from Natasha Ignatowski and Susie Lai).
'The girls played great team ball and took a total of 23 shots on the night,' said coach Casey Roche. 'Hailey Scasny recorded her second shutout of the year.'
Adrianna Henryscored the tying goal for the Sabers with five minutes left against Greendale, while Scasny had 12 saves.
Ellen Daviswent 3-for-5 with two triples and drove in four runs to lead the Panthers to an 18-2 romp over Pewaukee on April 5.
Kaity Grzeszkiewicztripled and brought in two runs, and Kayla Justushad two hits for Greendale, which scored 10 runs in the third inning to break open the game.
Riley Johnsonpicked up the victory, allowing five hits in five innings, for the Panthers, who improved to 1-1 in the Woodland Conference and overall.
GREENDALE GIRLS SOCCER
Ella Farley, Anna Turdoand Taylore DeLongall scored goals, and goalkeeper Adrianna Bratelmade six saves as the Panthers downed Oak Creek, 3-1, on April 5.
Nina Delgadilloand Caty Carusoposted assists for Greendale, which broke a 1-1 tie with two goals in the second half.
Greendale also tied Franklin, 1-1, on April 8 on a goal from Molly Williamsand 10 saves from Bratel.
The Panthers fell to West Allis Hale, 1-0, on April 7 and came into this week at 1-1-1.
WHITNALL GIRLS SOCCER
Younger players are expected to take key roles for the Falcons this season for new coach Peter Miskov.
Miskov, who takes over for Bob Antholine, said he is looking for good seasons from sophomore defender Hailey Malloy, junior midfielder Tori Barnhart, sophomore midfielder Elle Kuciferand freshman forward Maddie Ulik, among others.
Whitnall has just four seniors: midfielder Juni Akselberg, defender Shannon Ollenberg, forward/defender Lena Marinkovich and midfielder Samantha Makowski.
'We are a young team, but I still fully expect to be competitive this year,' said Miskov, whose team opened the season with a 4-0 triumph over Racine Park on April 5.
WHITNALL BOYS TENNIS
The Falcons downed Waterford, 5-2, in a nonconference dual meet on April 6.
First singles player Jason Dundaswas among the winners with a 6-3, 6-1 decision.
GREENDALE GIRLS TRACK
Gina Sommerfeldcaptured second place in the 400-meter dash to lead the Panthers in the Woodland Conference Indoor Meet on April 8 at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.
Exact times were not available due to a malfunction of the scoring system.
Sommerfeld also took sixth in the long jump with 15 feet-2 inches and 10th in the triple jump with 30-2.
'She put in a lot of physical effort, with seven jumps and a 400 all in the first half of the meet,' coach Corey Binnebose said.
Taking seventh were Nikolina Mijatovicin the long jump (14-9 1/2) and the 4x800-meter relay team of Brianna Homontowski, Ellen Abad Santos, Natalie Nortonand Victoria Mueller, with all running personal bests.
Also notching personal bests were Cassidy Sanchezwith 26-61/2 in the shot put and Norton, Abad Santos and Alyssa Dobbsin the 1,600 run. Binnebose also praised Emily Hagmayerand Sophia Fontefor their efforts.
Greendale tallied 15 points for 12th place.
GREENDALE BOYS TRACK
Nolan Ruddcaptured seventh place and ran personal bests in both the 1,600-meter run and 3,200 run for the Panthers in the Woodland Conference Indoor Meet on April 8 at UW-Parkside.
Exact times were not available due to a malfunction of the scoring system.
The 4x200-meter relay unit of Sam Lister, Collin Cragoe, Imani Powelland Aaron Bostontook sixth.
Job Rohloffsnared eighth in the 3,200 run and ninth in the 1,600 run, with both personal bests.
Coach Corey Binnebose also cited Lister for a strong effort in the 55-meter dash.
The Panthers finished 12th with eight points.
'We had a good day and had fun at the meet,' Binnebose said. 'The score doesn't show much success, but several athletes figured out how to compete and had good performances.'
— Compiled by Steven L. Tietz and John Rech