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Milton upsets Kaukauna in Division 1 state softball semifinal, snaps Ghosts' 108-game winning streak

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

Milton had designs on crashing the party, however, and did just that as the Red Hawks rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh inning to pull out a 5-3 victory over the top-seeded Ghosts and end Kaukauna's bid to four-peat as well as its 108-game 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 run.

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

The Ghosts struck early as Jozy Ebben had 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 a superb defensive play at second by Chloe Herzfeldt that saved at least a pair of runs by Milton.

Kaukauna got both runners on to start the bottom of the fifth. A sacrifice bunt from Taryn Christopher moved the runners to second and third. 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's the first defeat of her career (68-1). She struck out 12 and allowed two earned runs. She also had four walks and hit a batter.

Milton 002 000 3 - 5 5 1

Kaukauna 100 020 0 - 3 8 2

WP: Gwen Baker. LP: Karly Meredith. Leading hitters: Jenna Benasha M 2 RBI; Ella Knoble M 2B; Kenzie Marquardt M 2B; Paige Bodenheimer K 3x4, 2 runs; Jozy Ebben K 2 RBI; Taylor Federwitz K 2x3; Chloe Herzfeldt K 2B.

This article originally appeared on Appleton Post-Crescent: Kaukauna Ghosts softball team loses to Milton in state semifinals