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Iowa–Grant senior helps blank top-seeded #6-ranked Boscobel in D4 sectional semifinal
Senior Mya McCarthy pitched the Iowa–Grant Panthers to a 9–6 D4 regional final victory SWAL co-champion Mineral Point last Wednesday, and a 2–0 sectional semifinal victory over SWAL co-champion and #6-ranked Boscobel Monday afternoon. McCarthy also pitched brilliantly in a 1–0 sectional final loss to Juda/Albany Wednesday, allowing just hits in the season-ending loss.

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

By Jason Nihles

Mya McCarthy, Sr., P, Iowa-Grant softball
BOSCOBEL — Coach Deanna Fulton’s Panthers scored a pair of unearned runs in the late innings and senior Mya McCarthy and freshman Bentley Cutts combined on a four-hit shutout to lift the IG to a 2–0 victory over the host Bulldogs in a WIAA Division 4 Sectional Semifinal Monday afternoon at Kronshage Park. McCarthy struck out five and pitched into the seventh inning allowing just five hits and zero runs to earn the win over Boscobel Monday afternoon, before Cutts came on in relief to record the final two outs. McCarthy also went 1-for-3 in the win to help the Panthers advance to their second WIAA D4 Sectional Final in the last four years. 

“Mya threw a great game,” said Fulton. “She got ahead in the count often and worked her pitches. We made key plays on defense when needed. It was our game plan to get ahead and go with Mya until late in game. Mya was facing batters for the third time and we wanted batters to be uncomfortable and see someone knew. Bentley threw strikes, got ahead of batters and did a nice job finishing the game. 

McCarthy (9–6), who was recently selected to play in the Wisconsin Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association All-Star game, went 2-for-4 with a run scored and was the winning pitcher in Iowa–Grant's 9–6 victory over SWAL co-champion Mineral Point in a D4 regional final Wednesday, June 16. McCarthy allowed four runs on seven hits and two walks in 6 1/3 innings before giving way to Cutts with a 9–4 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Iowa–Grant senior pitched brilliantly once again Wednesday afternoon but McCarthy and the Panthers  fell short of a state berth with a 1–0 loss to Juda/Albany (17–6) in a WIAA D4 sectional final at Boscobel's Kronshage Park. McCarthy allowed just a first inning run, and only allowed two hits in six innings in the loss. She struck out two and walked two.

HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):
Annika Lord, Jr., Dodgeville softball
Lord threw a nine-inning five-hit shutout, striking out five and walking just one to lead Dodgeville (26–3) to a 1–0 victory over Poynette in Wednesday's WIAA Division 2 sectional final. The Dodgers scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning on a ground out by Lucy Heimerl. Lord also earned the win in Dodgeville's 7–3 sectional semifinal victory over SWC rival River Valley Monday afternoon. She struck out six and walked one, and allowed three runs on eight hits in seven innings.

Kaycie Martensen, Sr., Benton/Scales Mound/Shullsburg girls track and field
Martensen, the reigning WIAA D3 state champion in the girls 1,600 and 3,200 runs, won sectional titles in both the 1,600 (5:17.39) and 3,200 (11:11.45), as well as the 800 (2:17.51) to help the Knights win the girls' team title at last Thursday's WIAA D3 Princeton Sectional with 73 points. Martensen was ranked #1 entering this Thursday's WIAA D3 Track and Field State Championships in the 1,600 and 3,200, and seeded second in the 800.

Brynlee Nelson, Sr., Fennimore girls track and field
Nelson qualified for state in four events. Nelson won individual sectional titles in the 400 (with a new school record time of 57.61), as well as the 800 (2:16.61) and 4x400 relay at last Thursday's WIAA D3 Boscobel Sectional. She also finished second in the triple jump (36’3.5”). The top for finishers in each event at sectionals qualifies for state. Nelson teamed with junior Delanee Klaas, senior Lauryn Bunn and freshman sister Braycee Nelson to win the 4x400 relay with a season-best time of 4:04.20. Nelson, Klaas and Bunn, along with 2019 FHS graduate Maddy Adam, won the 2019 Division 3 state title in the 4x400 relay with a school record time of 4:03.78. This year’s 4x400 relay is the top seed (out of 17 teams) going into Thursday’s state meet based on sectional times.

Preston Noethe, Sr., Lancaster boys track and field
Noethe qualified for the WIAA Division 3 Track and Field State Meet in four events with top-four finishes at last Thursday's WIAA D3 Boscobel Sectional. Noethe won an individual sectional title in the triple jump (42'4"), placed second in the long jump (20'2.5"), second in the 4x100 relay (44.96) with teammates Logan Smith, Hayden Wagner and RJ Hutchcroft, and seventh in the high jump (6'0"). Noethe and the Flying Arrows qualified for state in eight events, while the Lancaster girls qualified in a Division 3-high 10 events.