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Wise starts the explosion of West Greene's offense
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CARMICHAELS – She is the match to the kerosene that ignites the West Greene offense.

When Jersey Wise is on fire, the Pioneers cruise as they did this day in a 17-4, five-inning victory over Carmichaels in a non-section game Tuesday afternoon.

Wise went 3-for-3 with a walk, four runs and two RBI. Her first at-bat was indicative of the day she would have. Wise cracked a ringing single on the third pitch of the game and ended up on third base when the Mikes couldn’t collect the throw in to the infield.

She scored on a passed ball.

“I try to start things off from the leadoff as much as I can,” said Wise. “We’ve been together since elementary school. We all know each other here and how well our bats are and how they line up for us. It works out well for us.”

Wise said the Pioneers don’t mind having a bulls-eye on their back after their state championship seasons in 2017 and 2018.

“There are a lot of people looking at us as their main competition.” Wise said. “If we keep working hard, getting mercy rule games, and starting out strong, we can make it back.”

West Greene seemed to feed off Wise’s at-bat. The Pioneers scored four more times to take a 5-0 lead at the top of the inning, 7-2 after two innings, 10-2 after three and 16-3 after four.

All but one starter scored and winning pitcher Kiley Meek not only controlled the Carmichaels bats but went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run.

Her batterymate, London Whipkey, had five of West Greene’s 22 hits in five at-bats, drove in four runs and scored a run. Carmichaels starter Emma Holeran gave up 13 runs in 3 1/3 innings.

In three games, all wins, West Greene is averaging 16 runs.

“We’re very happy with the lineup, 1 through 9, right now,” said West Greene head coach Billy Simms. “The other day we went to Brownsville to see that Franks girl and we hit her 1 through 9. Nothing against Holeran, we came out to hit. As well as we hit at the top, those girls did their job in the middle and bottom of the lineup. We have a potent lineup and I’m proud of them.”

Katie Lampe – yes, there is another one – went 2-for-4, drove in three runs and scored a run. Olivia Kiger went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run.

Carmichaels has four seniors in Holeran, Mia Ranieri, Emma Hyatt and Madison Ellsworth. They combined to go 4-for-10 with two RBI and two runs. The rest of the team went 3-for-9 with two RBI and two runs.

“We’re really young,” said Carmichaels. “We have freshmen and sophomores in the lineup. The year off hurt us. We need to do better in the field. Our inexperience showed.”

Briggs was especially upset with the six errors.

“I’m hoping we will be better at the end of the year,” said Briggs. “I wasn’t totally opposed to what we did at the plate. You just can’t give them extra outs like we did.”

Rangers blast Penguins 8-4 with goals from 8 players

NEW YORK (AP) – Artemi Panarin had a goal and three assists, Adam Fox had a goal and two assists and the New York Rangers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 8-4 on Tuesday night.

Colin Blackwell, Mika Zibanejad, Ryan Strome, Alexis Lafreniere, Kaapo Kakko and Pavel Buchnevich also scored for New York, which extended its point streak to four games (3-0-1). It was the first time in 11 years that eight Rangers scored in a game.

Igor Shesterkin made 42 saves and recorded his third consecutive win.

Jared McCann, Mike Matheson, Jake Guentzel and Brian Dumoulin scored for Pittsburgh, which lost for the second time in seven games. Casey DeSmith allowed four goals on eleven shots before being replaced by Tristan Jarry. Defenseman Kris Letang chipped in with two assists.

The Rangers stormed out of the gates and led 3-0 midway through the first period.

Blackwell opened the scoring with his 10th of the season after his pass attempt deflected off a Penguins defender and surprised DeSmith at 1:35. Blackwell became the sixth member of the Rangers to score 10 or more goals this season.

Zibanejad doubled the Rangers’ advantage at 7:28. He intercepted a pass in the defensive zone and then buried a rebound.

Panarin’s snipe from the left faceoff circle increased the Rangers’ edge to three at 9:58. Fox assisted and became the first Rangers defenseman to record 30 or more assists in each of his first two NHL seasons. The 23-year-old also extended his point streak to 11 games.

Strome capped off New York’s four-goal first period with a power-play goal in the final minute. Panarin picked up the primary assist and recorded a three-point game for the sixth time this season.

McCann’s blast from the left point pulled the Penguins within two goals at 10:38 of the first. Letang and Sidney Crosby assisted on the power-play goal.

Pittsburgh outshot New York 18-11 in the period despite trailing 4-1 at the end of 20 minutes.

Lafreniere, the first overall selection of last year’s draft, netted his sixth of the season at 12:20 of the second.

Matheson registered his fourth of the season 16 seconds later. The defenseman fired a shot past the glove of Shesterkin from the left faceoff circle.

Kakko deflected Trouba’s shot at 6:10 of the third period to give the Rangers a 6-2 lead. New York converted on all three power-play opportunities.

Guentzel hammered a one-time blast to cut the Penguins’ deficit to three goals at 8:04 of the third period.

Fox and Buchnevich scored within 19 seconds of each other midway through the third period to put the game out of reach. Zibanejad forced a turnover and found Fox all alone in the slot for a short-handed goal. Buchnevich then buried a cross-ice feed from Chytil.

Dumoulin scored his first of the season at 18:36 of the third.

The last time eight Rangers scored in a game was Jan. 19, 2010, against the Tampa Bay Lightning. It was the third time this season the Rangers scored eight or more goals.

Safe on arrival

Holly Tonini/For the Observer-Reporter

Carmichaels’ Jacob Fordyce slides and is safe at home plate in the third inning as California catcher Dom Martini tries to make the tag. Carmichaels defeated California 13-1 Tuesday in the Class 2A Section 1 baseball opener for both teams.

Naquin stars as Reds pound Pirates for 4th straight win

CINCINNATI – Tyler Naquin homered twice and drove in a career-high seven runs, helping the Cincinnati Reds pound the Pittsburgh Pirates 14-1 on Tuesday night for their fourth straight victory.

Rookie Jonathan India had three hits and four RBIs in Cincinnati’s latest offensive outburst. Tucker Barnhart and Nick Senzel also had three hits apiece.

The Reds set a franchise record with 46 runs in their first five games. The 1895 and 1976 teams scored 44 runs through five games.

Cincinnati left-hander Wade Miley (1-0) pitched six scoreless innings in his first start of the year. He allowed two hits, struck out six and walked one.

Miley was limited to six appearances last season due to two separate stints on the injured list and battled a hamstring issue during spring training.

Naquin got the scoring started by launching Trevor Cahill’s fourth pitch of the game an estimated 454 feet for his first career leadoff homer.

Naquin connected again in the second, making it 5-0 with a three-run shot. It was his third career multihomer game.

Naquin’s seven RBIs were the most by a Reds batter since Scooter Gennett had four homers and 10 RBIs on June 6, 2017, against the Cardinals.

Cahill (0-1), who signed a one-year deal late in spring training, was tagged for seven runs and nine hits in four innings in his Pirates debut.

Phillip Evans homered for Pittsburgh in the seventh. The utilityman also pitched a perfect eighth.

Barry Alvarez, AD who reshaped Wisconsin sports, to retire

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — As he announced his retirement, longtime Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez summed up his career by referencing the advice he often gives students.

“Find something that you love to do, do it well enough that someone will pay you to do it, and you’ll never work a day in your life,” Alvarez said Tuesday. “That’s what I believe that I’ve been able to do. I love going to work. I love going to the office. It was never a chore for me to get there. I enjoyed every minute.”

Alvarez is ending a three-decade run in which he transformed the university’s football team and later guided the Badgers to their greatest all-around sports success in school history.

The 74-year-old Alvarez said his retirement would take effect at the beginning of July. Alvarez indicated he initially planned to step down earlier but wanted to remain in charge while the athletic department dealt with the challenges brought about by the pandemic.

“I’ve had a good run,” Alvarez said. “It’s just time to pass the baton. I’m healthy. I have some things that I want to do. My wife and I want to travel. I have grandkids I want to follow and support. It was just time.”

He was honored Tuesday at a ceremony featuring Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, who called Alvarez “a man whose name is synonymous with Wisconsin athletics.”

Alvarez arrived at Wisconsin in 1990 as football coach and turned one of the Big Ten’s weakest programs into one of its strongest. He became athletic director in 2004 and briefly served in a dual role before stepping down as football coach after the 2005 season.

Wisconsin’s football team went a combined 9-36 in the four seasons before his arrival from Notre Dame, where he had worked as defensive coordinator for the Fighting Irish’s 1988 national championship team.

“They’d better get season tickets right now because before long, they probably won’t be able to,” Alvarez boasted at his introductory news conference.

Sure enough, Alvarez led the Badgers to three Rose Bowl titles and made them regular Big Ten contenders by emphasizing a strong defense and rushing attack.

Alvarez coached Wisconsin from 1990-2005 and set a program record for career coaching victories. His 119-74-4 mark includes his record over 16 years, plus a 1-1 mark as an interim coach in bowl games that capped the 2012 and 2014 seasons.

Once he got that head coaching opportunity, Alvarez stayed at Wisconsin the remainder of his career.

“We wanted to go someplace and wanted to establish roots,” Alvarez said as he mentioned the goal he and his wife, Cindy, had set for themselves. “We did not want to be coaching vagabonds. We wanted to have a place we could call home.”

He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010.

Other Wisconsin programs had similar success during his stint as the Badgers’ athletic director.

Alvarez, who played football at Nebraska during Bob Devaney’s coaching tenure, said he patterned his career after his former college coach. Devaney coached Nebraska from 1962-72 and served as the school’s athletic director from 1967-93.

“The thing you learn in coaching is you learn how to make decisions,” Alvarez said. “They may be different decisions, but you learn to be a decision-maker and have to be a decision-maker not afraid to make decisions.

“I always felt being a former coach and being able to relate to your coaches, the 23 coaches that I have, I might have an advantage over (other) athletic directors. I can get someone to handle finances and I can get people to do some other things — the business part of it. But I can manage people. I can manage the coaches. I can support the coaches.”

Wisconsin football coach Paul Chryst said it was beneficial to work for an athletic director with a coaching background.

“How fortunate was I, for the time that I did have, to be able to have so many conversations with your athletic director, but at the same time, a guy that's been in the exact same shoes you're in,” Chryst said.

Wisconsin teams won 16 national titles while Alvarez was athletic director, though five of those came in women’s lightweight rowing, a sport whose championships aren’t sanctioned by the NCAA.

Those national titles were in six different sports (women’s lightweight rowing, men’s cross country, men’s hockey, women’s hockey, men’s indoor track, men’s rowing). Wisconsin’s most recent national title came in women’s hockey this year.

The Badgers also have won a total of 74 conference, regular-season or tournament championships with Alvarez as athletic director. Fourteen different teams have won conference titles during his regime.

Wisconsin finished in the top 30 in the Directors’ Cup 15 times in his first 18 seasons as athletic director.

As Alvarez conducted his farewell news conference at the Kohl Center, he only needed to look to his left to see a collection of various trophies and plaques that Wisconsin sports teams had won during his tenure.

“To see that much success, it just makes me feel proud,” Alvarez said. “I just want to bust my buttons, I’m so proud of what my people have accomplished.”