Sports notebook: Local athletes making an impression
By Paul Lecker
Draeger commits to Upper Iowa
Emily Draeger, a senior at Marshfield High School, has committed to play softball at Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa.
Upper Iowa, an NCAA Division II school that participates in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, was 19-33 overall and 11-19 in the conference last season.
Draeger was a unanimous first-team all-Wisconsin Valley Conference selection at catcher this past spring after hitting .378 with 13 runs scored and 10 RBIs in conference play. Marshfield finished 18-6 overall and 9-3 in the WVC, reaching the WIAA Division 1 sectional semifinals before losing to Stevens Point.
Maguire plays in Legion all-star game
Marshfield Post 54 catcher Paul Maguire was chosen to play on the Stars (North) team at the Wisconsin American Legion Baseball State All-Star Game at Miller Park in Milwaukee on Aug. 13.
Maguire, a recent Marshfield High School graduate, hit .333 (22 of 66) with seven doubles, seven RBIs, and 16 runs scored this season for the Blue Devils, who finished with a 10-14 record.
The game was played after the conclusion of the Milwaukee Brewers game, pitting the Stars against the Stripes (South) all-star squads.
Other Wisconsin Valley Legion League players that took part in the game, playing for Wausau manager Tom Magnuson, were Payton Nelson of Wausau, Hunter Kirsch of Antigo, Ryan Golisch of Merrill, and Andy Tepp of Stevens Point.
Finlay traded to Minnesota
Ethan Finlay, a 2008 graduate of Marshfield High School and a six-year veteran of Major League Soccer, was traded Aug. 9 from the Columbus Crew to Minnesota United FC.
Finlay, 27, had spent his entire pro career with the Crew after being the 10th overall pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft and playing collegiately at Creighton University.
Finlay scored a team-high 11 goals and had seven assists in 2014 and followed that up with 12 goals and 13 assists in 2015 while earning his first MLS All-Star appearance. That season, Finlay helped the Crew reach the MLS Cup championship finals before it lost to Portland.
This season with Columbus, Finlay had played in 19 games with 14 starts and picked up one goal and one assist.
Finlay, who was born in Duluth, Minnesota, is expected to make his debut for Minnesota (6-13-4) on Aug. 20 when it plays at Seattle. Minnesota’s next home game is Sept. 9 against Philadelphia at TCF Bank Stadium.
Varsho continues to hit at Hillsboro
Daulton Varsho, a Chili native and 2014 graduate of Marshfield High School, has continued his hot start with the Hillsboro Hops, a short-season Class A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Varsho was drafted out of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with the 68th pick overall and first in the Competitive Balance Round B following the second round of the Major League Baseball Draft by Arizona on June 12.
Through games on Aug. 12, Varsho was third on the Hops with a .319 batting average, going 43-for-135 in 34 games, mostly at catcher. Varsho had 11 doubles, three home runs, 29 RBIs (ninth-most in the Northwest League), and 25 runs scored for Hillsboro, which was 31-24 and in first place in the league.
Hillsboro’s season ends Sept. 3 with possible Northwest League playoffs to follow Sept. 5-7.
Ashbeck makes 2017 debut
Elliot Ashbeck, a 2012 Marshfield High School grad who went on to play college baseball at Bradley University, returned to the mound in late July after suffering an arm injury last season.
Ashbeck was a 16th round draft choice by the San Diego Padres in 2015 and pitched in 23 games in the minor leagues in the 2015 and 2016 seasons before his injury sidelined him last May.
Ashbeck, a right-handed pitcher, returned July 22 and pitched six games for the Padres’ Arizona Rookie League teams, allowing three runs in 7 2/3 innings with 11 strikeouts and two walks.
He moved up to the Tri-City (Pasco, Washington) Dust Devils short-season Class A team in the Northwest League on Aug. 7 and has pitched twice in relief, surrendering two runs in 2 2/3 innings with three strikeouts.