When Sun Prairie High School's head softball coaching position opened up back in 2012 Jamie Olson applied and was hired to take over the program. She jumped in and has never looked back.
Since then the Cardinals have had more overall success than they were accustomed to. There had always been great athletes at the school just east of Madison but getting to an elite level and remaining there was something they had not achieved over a period of time.
Enter Olson, since she took over the leadership at what is now the largest high school enrollment in the state of Wisconsin the Cardinals have reached and maintained that elusive elite title.
Sun Prairie has claimed the Big 8 conference title four times. Those championships have been in 2012, 2013, 2017 and 2018. The Cardinals have taken a leap forward where they have become a tough game for the rest of the Big 8 including Verona whom they battle with each year.
Prior to the arrival of Olson Sun Prairie had recorded just one Final Four , that in 2003. The Cardinals have also been to the WIAA Division 1 state tournament 5 times during Olson's tenure. Those same four years aforementioned and again last spring (2019). Their break-through season was in 2012 when they won their opening game to get to the school's first Final Four. They were then beaten by Chippewa Falls 4-3 in the Division 1 final. They returned to Goodman Diamond in 2013 but lost in the quarter final. In 2017 they made another state tournament run on to be eliminated once again in the quarter final. In 2018 the Cardinals won their first two games beating Appleton North 8-4 then beat Menomonee Falls 9-5 in 9 innings to get the finale where they beat Burlington 7-1.
Last year the Cardinals won their first two games to set up the title game against unbeaten Oshkosh North. They beat Waukesha North 4-1 to get to the Final Four where they ended Pulaski's season with a 4-1 win. In the title game Sun Prairie's Maddie Gardner and North's Sydney Supple hooked up in a pitcher's duel that lasted 9 innings. Tied 2-2 in the top of the ninth North got two runs to win it 4-2.
Here is a look at the score by innings and pitching stats.
Score by Innings R H E ------------------------------------------- Oshkosh North....... 001 010 002 - 4 8 3 Sun Prairie......... 101 000 000 - 2 4 4 -------------------------------------------
|E - Ellestad 2; Bittner; Reuter; Spatola; Hamilton 2. DP - Sun Prairie 1. LOB - Oshkosh No. 12; Sun Prairie 4. 2B - Neveau. HBP - Spatola. SH - Ellestad; Radlund; Reuter 2. SB - Knoernschild; Radlund 2.|
|Sydney Supple W||9.0||4||2||1||1||11||0||0||1||1||28||33||4||12|
|Maddie Gardner L||9.0||8||4||1||6||9||2||0||0||0||36||43||10||7|
Win - Supple. Loss - Gardner. Save - None. WP - Gardner 2. HBP - by Supple (Spatola). PB - Knoernschild 2.
Gardner will return for her senior season in 2020 as Olson will be ready to lead them back to Goodman Diamond for a sixth time in her tenure.
In 2018 Olson was named the WFSCA Coach of the year as well as the Big 8 Coach of the year.
In May of 2017 the Cardinals, under her tutelage picked up the school's 100th victory in just the sixth year with her at the helm. Since then they have added another 70 victories. Overall they are 170-45 in her years as the head coach.
I have added the information in this article to the Coaches Honor Roll. Check out Jamie's stuff there along with all the other coaches in the history of Wisconsin High School fastpitch softball since that first year way back in 1976.