Below are the VNN Athlete of the Week Nominees for the week of June 28 through July 4. Voting is open until Thursday at 4pm, so be sure to vote for who you feel is most deserving and spread the word. Users may vote once per day.
VNN Athlete of the Week Nominees: June 28 - July 4
Ashlyn Bennin, Mishicot softball: Mishicot softball was on a mission after finishing runner-up at the state tournament in 2019. Bennin was spectacular in the two games, leading the Indians to their first state championship in program history. In a 2-1 semifinal win over Phillips, the junior pitched a complete game, allowing one unearned run on three hits. She struck out just two batters and also went two for two from the plate. Bennin then pitched another complete game three hitter in the 6-3 Division 4 State Championship game over Juda/Albany. She allowed three unearned runs and also went two for three from the plate with two RBIs.
Jack Davidson, Kenosha St. Joseph baseball: The Lancer baseball team came alive at the plate in their two Division 3 State Tournament games and Davidson acted as the catalyst. In the 11-1 semifinal win over Marathon, the senior slugger went three for four with two RBIs and a run scored. Davidson then collected another three hits, two RBIs and run scored in the 7-4 Division 3 State Championship win over Coleman. For the day, he went six for seven from the plate with four RBIs to lead the Lancers to a state title.
Grace Graber, Dodgeville softball: Graber was exceptional from the plate as the Dodgers took home the first state title in softball program history last week. In the 10-4 semifinal win over Lomira, she went three for five with two RBIs and a run scored. Graber then went three for three with a walk and two RBIs in the 5-3 Division 3 State Title win over Prescott. Graber batted leadoff for Dodgeville and set the tone throughout the two games for the Dodgers.
Reece Piontek, Denmark baseball: Denmark finished an incredible season with their first ever state championship for the baseball program. Piontek started the semifinal game and closed out the championship to ensure the Division 2 State Title went to the Vikings. In the 10-3 semifinal win over Rice Lake, the senior hurler pitched six innings, striking out five batters. He allowed just 1 unearned run off five hits. In the D3 championship game against Jefferson, Piontek came into the seventh inning with the Vikings leading 4-1. He proceeded to strike out two of the three batters he faced en route to recording the save and securing the win.
Walker Retz, Boyceville baseball: Retz was absolutely dominant in the two Division 4 games last Monday. First in the 11-1 semifinal win over Southwestern, the University of St. Thomas commit went four for four with six RBIs and scored two runs to lead the Bulldog offense. He then took the mound in the Division 4 title game with Rosholt. Retz came one batter short of pitching a perfect game in the biggest game of his prep career. He pitched a complete game in the 4-0 win, striking out 13 batters and allowing just one base runner on a fourth inning double. Retz's incredible showing led the Bulldogs to their first ever state championship for the baseball team.
The Athlete of the Week is sponsored by VNN. It highlights the players that have "made a splash" in the world of high school sports each week. If you have a nominee for Athlete of the Week please send it to Colton Wilson.
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