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Three new champions will be crowned at the state girls' high school softball tournament that opens Thursday in Madison. Defending champs Ashwaubenon, Greendale, and Highland did not make it back. The only one returning is Grantsburg, which has won 46 straight games dating back to last season. Thursday morning's action begins with the Division 1 quarter-finals. Chippewa Falls is up first against Waukesha West, which has 10 losses. Then it's Appleton North against Verona.
The Brewers will have the seventh pick when the Major League draft begins Thursday afternoon. The opening-round will be televised for the first time and it will be on ESPN-2 at 1 p.m. In the recent past, the Brewers have signed their draft picks quickly and got them on the field sooner. That strategy has paid off, since Milwaukee's entire starting infield consists of players drafted in the five years Doug Melvin has been the general manager. This year, Melvin is not sure how he'll approach the first round.
The Milwaukee Brewers ended a 5-5 home-stand Wednesday with a 6-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs. Carlos Zambrano got his 70th career win in his first start since slugging teammate Michael Barrett six days ago. Zambrano was a choir-boy in this one striking out a season-high nine Brewers, while giving up two runs on five hits in six and two-thirds innings. He also helped himself at the plate with two hits and an RBI. The Cubbies went up 5-0 after three, highlighted by Felix Pie's three-run homer.
The Milwaukee Brewers evened their series with the Chicago Cubs Tuesday night with a 7-5 win at Miller Park. The Brewers led 5-0 after three innings and a two-run rally in the eighth fell short for the Cubbies. Ryan Braun went 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBI's. Tony Graffanino and Corey Hart also had solo shots for the Brewers, who maintained their six-game lead over St. Louis in the National League Central. Damian Miller returned behind the plate after missing five games with a bruised wrist and he went 1-4 with an RBI.
It's starting to look like Brewers' third baseman Corey Koskie won't play at all this season. The team won't confirm it, but assistant general manager Gord Ash says the veteran is running out of time. Koskie is back home in Medina, Minn., recovering from the post-concussion syndrome he suffered just before last year's All-Star break. Ash says Koskie is making slow progress, but even if he was ready today he said it would be the end of July before he could enter the Brewers' line-up. Koskie is in the final year of his current contract.
Hartland Arrowhead, Green Bay Notre Dame, and Stevens Point Pacelli are the champions of the state boys' high school golf tournament. Arrowhead won the Division 1 crown in Verona Tuesday by five strokes over Middleton. Notre Dame took the Division 2 crown by just two strokes over defending champion Waukesha Catholic Memorial. And Pacelli won Division 3 by a convincing 32 strokes over Marshfield Columbus. Jack Schultz of Whitefish Bay won the individual crown in Division 1 in a playoff over John Anderson of Appleton East.
University of Wisconsin's Demi Omole will try for a fourth time to win a national title in the 100-meters, as the NCAA track meet begins today (Wednesday) in Sacramento. Omole finished third the last two years and was fifth as a freshman. He's the fifth-fastest qualifier this time in 10.19 seconds. Omole is one of six Badger men competing. The others are Chris Solinsky, who won the gold in the 5,000 meters a year ago: Joe Detmer in the decathlon, Tim Nelson in the 10,000 meters, James Groce in the 400, and Craig Miller in the 1,500.
Bucks' coach Larry Krystkowiak is bringing in his former Milwaukee teammate Tony Brown to be his lead assistant. Brown was an assistant in Boston for the last three years under Celtics' coach former Marquette guard Doc Rivers. But Brown started looking when the Celts only offered him a one-year contract, after giving Rivers another two years. Brown played with Krystkowiak on the Bucks from 1988-90. Meanwhile, Bucks' assistant Lester Conner is leaving for Indiana where he'll work under new Pacers' coach Jim O'Brien.
The federal government is seeking public comments on a plan for monitoring the gray wolf population in the western Great Lakes states for the next five years. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed the gray wolf in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan from the federal list of endangered and threatened species in March. There is a mandatory five-year monitoring period whenever a species is removed from the list to help ensure that the species continues to thrive. The draft plan for monitoring the region's wolf population is available online at http://midwest.fws.gov/wolf .
La Crosse has become the third Wisconsin city to be named a bicycle-friendly community. Madison and Milwaukee have had the designation for some time. The League of American Bicyclists says La Crosse has a strong education program. All schools have extracurricular activities centered around cycling and the school district provides bikes and helmets for the elementary schools City officials said they adopted a long-range bicycle plan. Among other things, there are bike racks on all city buses. Sixty-four U.S.