Sun Prairie's Ellie Rademacher (11) and Maddie Gardner celebrate the Cardinals' 5-2 win over Pulaski in the WIAA State Tournament Division 1 semifinal game. 

MADISON — The pitching of Maddie Gardner and a three-run third inning propelled the Sun Prairie softball team to a 5-1 win over Pulaski in the WIAA Division 1 state semifinal game late Friday night at Goodman Diamond.

The win moved the Cardinals into the state championship game for a second-straight year. Sun Prairie (27-3) will get the chance to defend its title facing top-ranked Oshkosh North (30-0) in Saturday’s Division 1 title game at 6:30 p.m.

For the second time in as many days Gardner recorded a double-digit strikeout total. After fanning 16 batters in Thursday’s 4-1 10-inning quarterfinal win over Waukesha North, the University of Wisconsin recruit struck out 10 Red Raiders.

Gardner has now struck out 52 batters in six WIAA State Tournament games dating back to her freshman season.

Sun Prairie fell behind 1-0 as Brynn Egnarski doubled and scored on Kamryn Brockman’s one-out single in the top of the second.

The Cardinals got that run back and more, scoring three times in their half of the third. RBIs by Sabrina Reuter, Gardner and Grace Hilber gave Sun Prairie a 3-1 advantage, one it would not relinquish.

Gardner retired 10 straight Pulaski (24-6) batters before Lauren Dixon singled to lead off the seventh. The junior right-hander only allowed one earned run and one walk.


Pulaski 001 000 1 — 2 6 3

Sun Prairie 003 011 x — 5 7 1

Pulaski (ab-r-h-rbi) — Niespodzany 4-0-0-0, Brockman 3-0-1-1, Wesoloski 2-0-0-0, Agamaite 3-0-1-0, Dixon 3-0-1-0, Maroszek 3-0-0-0, Kreuser 3-1-1-0, Williquette 3-0-1-0, Egnarski 3-1-1-0, Kubiak 0-0-0-0. Totals — 27-2-6-1.

Sun Prairie (ab-r-h-rbi) — Knoernschild 4-1-1-0, Radlund 2-1-1-0, Reuter 3-2-1-1, Gardner 3-0-1-2, Meyers 0-0-0-0, Hilber 3-0-0-1, Spatola 3-0-1-0, Duarte 0-0-0-0, Hamilton 2-0-0-0, Johnson 1-1-1-0, Patterson 3-0-0-0, Ek 3-0-1-0. Totals — 27-5-7-.

2B — Egnarski; Ek

Pitching HO — Dixon 7 in 6; Gardner 6 in 7. ER — Dixon 4; Gardner 1. SO — Dixon 6; Gardner 10. BB — Dixon 1; Gardner 1.

W — Gardner (26-3). L — Dixon (16-4).

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