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Impact captures crown in Lakes East

Top-rated pitchers Pace Muskego to title

July 30, 2012

Muskego - A 7-1 victory over the Butler Bombers on Sunday gave the Muskego Impact the regular-season championship in the Land O' Lakes Eastern Division.

Muskego finished 14-4 to claim the crown by two games over three-time defending champion New Berlin and the fast-closing West Allis Nighthawks, both 12-6.

The Impact won two of three from both New Berlin and West Allis en route to this year's title.

Muskego, which was just 12-9 last season, dominated its Lakes foes this time around, tallying 109 runs while allowing just 52, which led the league.

David Mihlsimmer paced the Impact staff with a 4-0 mark and 1.11 earned-run average. He worked a team-high 32 1/3 innings, giving up just four earned runs while striking out 23 and walking seven.

Jake Jewell was 4-1 with a 3.00 ERA, pitching 21 innings and surrendering seven earned runs with 19 strikeouts. Josh Beatka collected one victory and a pair of saves.

The Impact also had a number of solid hitters, including Kevin Shoenbach at .429, Joe Kooping at .389, Bob Dillon at .365, Nick Blanchet at .351, Mike Robinson at .340, Nick Schmidlkofer at .341 and Beatka at .333. Beatka drove in 11 runs and Schmidlkofer 10.

Muskego stumbled a bit on July 18, dropping a 4-2 decision to the Nighthawks in a rain-shortened contest, but bounced back by downing the Racine Kiwanis, 10-3, on July 25, and Butler by the 7-1 count on Sunday.

The Impact then lost to the Bombers, 2-1, in the nightcap of Sunday's doubleheader.

Muskego now prepares for the Eastern playoffs with the top seed and a first-round bye. After Butler, Racine, North Shore and West Allis all play on Aug. 5, the Impact will join the fray on Aug. 8 at a site to be determined.

- John Rech

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