Photo courtesy Kaukauna Ghosts Fastpitch

KAUKAUNA — The Grappling Ghosts wrestling team took home a state team title last month for the fourth year in a row. So why not the softball team?

The Ghosts kicked off the 2024 season Monday with high hopes for a return to the WIAA state softball tournament.

The team currently is on an 81-game winning streak, the longest of any high school team in Wisconsin history.

Kaukauna lost a group of key players to graduation from last spring’s state title team, including all-conference selections Kally Meredith, Paige Miller, Ava Block and Grace Boyle.

But the cupboard is far from bare.

The team will be led by two-time Fox Valley Association, Gatorade state player of the year and University of Virginia commit Karly Meredith, who returns for her junior season, along with all-conference senior Taryn Christopher.

The season will rise or fall on this year’s junior class, which placed four other players besides Meredith on the all-conference list last season, including Summer Schmidt, Jozy Ebben and Taryn Christopher.

Throw in sophomore all-conference outfielder Paige Bodenheimer, and the roster has a significant amount of post-season experience.

In a battle of undefeated teams, Kaukauna claimed the 2023 WIAA Division 1 title with a 4-0 victory over Superior last June in Madison.

The Ghosts have never lost a state title game, winning the championship in each of their previous state appearances including 2010, 201720212022 and now in 2023.

Also during the off-season, Head Softball Coach Tim Roehrig was inducted into the Wisconsin Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Kaukauna’s most recent title was the 509th time the Ghosts have won a game under Roehrig’s leadership.

Roehrig’s teams have been to the WIAA state tournament and the Final Four a total of five times and have never been beaten.

The Ghosts’ season begins Tuesday, Apr 2, 2024 at 4:30 p.m. with an away game vs. Appleton North.

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By Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak, born and raised in Kaukauna, is cofounder of Kaukauna Community News.