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The Kaukauna Ghosts softball team loses to Milton in the state semifinals

MADISON − The Kaukauna softball team was one out away from reaching its fourth consecutive WIAA Division 1 state softball championship game late Friday night at Goodman Diamond.

Milton had plans to crash the party, however, and did just that as the Red Hawks rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh inning to earn a 5–3 victory over the top-seeded Ghosts and to end Kaukauna’s bid for four. turf and the 108-match winning streak.

Milton (26-2) advances to play Kenosha Bradford (27-3) in Saturday’s Division 1 championship game at 6:30 p.m.

Kaukauna (27-1) led 3-2 heading into the top of the seventh, but Jenna Benasha’s two-run single with two outs gave the Red Hawks a 4-3 lead and an error by the Ghosts’ infield led to another point.

Milton’s Gwen Baker pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh inning to secure the win. She finished with three strikeouts.

The Ghosts struck early when Jozy Ebben hit an RBI single in the first inning, but Milton answered by getting a pair of RBI doubles with two outs in the top of the third to take a 2-1 lead.

Kaukauna survived a bases-loaded situation in the top of the fifth thanks to an excellent defensive play at second by Chloe Herzfeldt, who saved at least a pair of Milton’s runs.

Kaukauna got both runners to start in the bottom of the fifth. A sacrifice bunt by Taryn Christopher moved the runners to second and third base. An infield error scored Paige Bodenheimer and Summer Schmidt’s squeeze bunt scored Karly Meredith as the Ghosts took a 3-2 lead.

Meredith, who was named the Gatorade Wisconsin state player of the year earlier in the day, took the loss for Kaukauna. It is the first defeat of her career (68-1). She struck out twelve and allowed two earned runs. She also walked four and hit a batter.

Milton 002 000 3 – 5 5 1

Kaukauna 100 020 0 – 3 8 2

WP: Gwen Baker. LP: Karly Meredith. Main hitters: Jenna Benasha M 2 RBI; Ella Knoble M 2B; Kenzie Marquardt M2B; Paige Bodenheimer K 3×4, 2 runs; Jozy Ebben K2 RBI; Taylor Federwitz K 2×3; Chloe Herzfeldt K2B.

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