EDITOR'S NOTE: The Swnews4u.com Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.
Ryan Glendenning, Sr., C/P, Darlington baseball
The senior catcher went 6-for-10 with five RBI and three runs scored over the last three games to lead the SWAL champion Darlington Redbirds to a WIAA Division 3 regional championship.
Glendenning went 1x3 with a RBI and a run scored in an 11–1 win over Southwestern last Tuesday to clinch the Redbirds' third straight SWAL title. He then went 2x4 with two RBI in Tuesday's 10–5 WIAA regional semifinal playoff win over New Glarus and finished his stellar week by going 3x3 with two RBI and two runs in Darlington's 11–8 regional championship win over Shullsburg/Benton on Wednesday. He hit the go-ahead home run in the bottom of the fifth inning and also earned the pitching victory for the 'Birds as they won their first regional title since 1994.
Darlington (17–7) advances to play Wisconsin Heights in the D3 Whitehall Sectional final Tuesday at 3 p.m. The winner advances to face either Lancaster or Wisconsin Heights in the Whitehall sectional final at 6 p.m.
HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):
Hannah Butler, Fr., P, Black Hawk softball
Butler led the team to three one-run playoff wins as Black Hawk earned first regional title in 15 years and first-ever sectional final appearance. Butler helped herself at plate by going 2-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI and two runs scored against Fall River in last week’s D5 regional semifinal, 2-for-4 with a triple, three runs and a RBI in Friday’s 6–5 regional final Williams Bay, then had a double, scored two runs and drove in the winning run on a sac fly in the top of the seventh inning in Tuesday’s 7–6 victory over Johnson Creek in the D5 sectional semifinals. Butler earned the win in each game. The Warriors will face Belmont (26–2) in Thursday afternoon’s D5 Belmont sectional final.
Jordan Delzer, Sr., C, Black Hawk softball
Delzer scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning in the Lady Warriors' 8–7 WIAA Division 5 regional semifinal win over Fall River, and then had a two-run single in the Warriors' 6–5 win over Williams Bay for the regional championship title Friday afternoon. She hit a grand slam home run in the Warriors sectional 7–6 victory over seventh-ranked Johnson Creek in Tuesday’s D5 sectional semifinal.
Josh Hentrich, Sr., Lancaster boys golf
The Lancaster senior shot a 7-over-par 78 to win medalist honors at Tuesday’s WIAA Division 3 Marksman Sectional and earn a fourth consecutive trip to the WIAA State Championships. Hentrich will tee off Monday at noon when the two-day Division 3 state tournament gets underway at University Ridge Golf Course near Madison.
Maranda McCarthy, Sr., P, Iowa–Grant softball
McCarthy helped the Panthers overcome a shaky start in last Friday’s WIAA Division 4 regional final victory over fourth-seeded Boscobel. McCarthy struck out back-to-back batters to end the top of the first inning, escaping from a bases loaded jam after the Bulldogs took an early 1–0 lead when the first four batters of the game reached on back-to-back Panther errors, a fielder’s choice and an RBI single. McCarthy finished the game with nine strikeouts and didn’t issue a walk as the Panthers rallied for a 2–1 win scoring both of their runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. She then overcame a rough start once again in Tuesday’s sectional semifinal and hit a solo homer to help the Panthers defeat Wisconsin Heights 13–3.
Brayden McDonald, Sr., CF/C, Darlington baseball
McDonald went 6-for-11 with three RBI and eight runs scored over the past week to lead Darlington to a third straight SWAL title and a WIAA Division 4 regional title. He went 1-for-3 with three runs scored in last Tuesday’s conference-title clinching win over Southwestern, 3-for-4 with a double and a 3-run homer and four runs scored against New Glarus in Tuesday’s regional semifinal and 2-for-4 with two runs scored in Wednesday’s regional final victory over Shullsburg/Benton.
Evan Straka, Jr., Lancaster boys basketball
Straka went 3-for-3 and drove in five runs to lead Lancaster to a 12–9 victory over top-seeded and seventh-ranked Fennimore in Wednesday’s WIAA Division 3 regional finals. Straka belted a two-run triple in the top of the sixth inning to give the Arrows an 11–9 lead and later scored on a wild pitch. He also hit a three-run homer in the top of the second inning to give the Arrows a 7–4 lead. Straka went 1-for-3 and drove in a pair of runs in Lancaster’s 8–6 regional semifinal win over Brookwood a day earlier. The Arrows advance to face La Crosse Aquinas Tuesday at noon in the first game of the WIAA Division 3 Whitehall sectional final. The winner advances to play either Darlington or Wisconsin Heights at 6 p.m. for the sectional title.
Ethan Suits, Jr., and Isaiah Altfillisch, Jr., Platteville boys golf
Suits and Altfillish each shot 7-over-par 78s to share medalist honors and lead the Platteville golf team to the team title at last Wednesday’s WIAA Division 2 Platteville regional. Platteville’s season came to an end Wednesday with a fourth-place finish at the 12-team WIAA D2 Viroqua Sectional. Suits shot a 90 and Altfillisch carded an 84 at sectionals.