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ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: McKailah Strang/Jordan Busch
Benton/Shullsburg seniors tear the cover off the ball
McKailah Strang
Benton/Shullsburg senior McKailah Strang went 6-for-13 with three walks, two double, seven runs scored and two batted in four games last week.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year

McKailah Strang, Sr., C, and Jordan Busch, Sr., IF, Benton/Shullsburg softball

    Benton/Shullsburg seniors McKailah Strang and Jordan Busch are this week’s Mast Water Technology co-Athletes of the Week after leading the Zephyrs to a 2–2 start to the season with their hot bats. The duo combined for 13 hits, three doubles, nine RBIs and 10 runs scored in four games last week.

     Strang went 6-for-13 with three walks, two double, seven runs scored and two batted in, while Busch went 7-for-13 on the week with a double, seven RBIs and three runs scored. The pair led the co-op to a 19-hit 16–13 victory over Cuba City in the season opener last Friday. Strang finished 3-for-4 with two doubles, four RBIs and two runs scores, while Busch went 3-for-4 with a double, four RBIs and a run in the win. Strang and Busch each went 2-for-3 in Saturday’s 14–4 loss to Southwestern. Busch also had an RBI and a run scored in Monday’s 8–7 non-conference win over Scales Mound/River Ridge (Ill.)

     The Shullsburg/Benton co-op will travel to Monticello Thursday and Belmont on Tuesday for a pair of Six Rivers Conference games. Both games start at 5 p.m.


HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):

Courtney Busch, So., 3B, Cuba City softball

     Busch went 8-for-13 on the week in three games for the Cubans with five doubles, two triples, seven RBI and five runs scored. Busch went 4-for-5 with three doubles and two RBIs in a 16–13 loss at Benton/Shullsburg last Friday. Monday afternoon she 4-for-5 with two doubles, a triple and five RBIs in a 16–9 win over Riverdale. She also tripled, one of Cuba City’s two hits, in a 4–1 loss to Belmont on Tuesday, March 28.


Maranda McCarthy, Sr., P, Iowa–Grant softball

     McCarthy went 3–0 with a 1.56 ERA and 18 strikeouts and two walks to lead Iowa–Grant to three victories in the past week. McCarthy scattered nine hits and allowed two runs in a 4–2 season-opening victory at Lancaster last Tuesday. She then pitched a five-inning, one-hit shutout Friday and added and RBI double in a 10–0 win over Black Hawk. Monday afternoon she struck out seven and allowed just two runs on six hits in a complete game 7–2 victory over defending SWAL champion Southwestern.


Paige Nolan, Sr., P/OF, Belmont softball

     The two-time Six Rivers West Player of the Year is off to a quick start in her senior year. She is batting .545 (6-for-11) with two home runs and five RBIs through four games, and also picked up a pair of wins in the pitching circle in the past week. Last Tuesday she struck out four and allowed only one run on two hits in 4 1/3 innings to earn the win in a 4–2 victory at Cuba City. She also went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. She went 1-for-3 in a 3–2 victory at Platteville on Saturday, then belted a three-run homer and tossed a complete game four-hit shutout with eight strikeouts with a 5–0 win over Dodgeville on Tuesday afternoon.


Drew Reuter, Sr., SS, Lancaster baseball

     Reuter went 2-for-3 with a game-high four RBIs, a walk and two runs scored to lead Lancaster to a 9–5 come-from-behind victory over visiting Iowa–Grant last Tuesday. Reuter had an RBI single in the first and a bases clearing three-run double in the Arrows’ five-run fifth.