MADISON — The Kaukauna Galloping Ghosts softball team advanced to the WIAA Division 1 state semifinal Thursday with a 9-0 win over Sussex Hamilton in the quarterfinals.

Three-time Fox Valley Association Player of the Year Karly Meredith pitched a no-hitter, struck out 13 and scored three runs, but it was Taryn Christopher’s four hits at the plate powered the Ghosts to a comfortable win.

Christopher had triples in the first and fourth innings, a double in the sixth and a single in the second, driving in a total of four runs. She scored three runs of her own.

After the game, Head Coach Tim Roehrig said he asked Christopher about her dominant performance at the plate.

“Other years I didn’t have to be that girl, today I’m that girl,” Christopher told him.

Jozy Ebben and Cassidy Vandenheuvel each had two hits.

Kaukauna plays again Friday evening at 9 p.m. against Milton, who outlasted New Richmond 2-1 in 11 innings.

Fourth-seeded Milton qualifies for the second time in the past three seasons and for the fourth time in the program’s history.

The Red Hawks three appearances came in Class A in 1990 and in Division 1 in 1992 and 2022. Each of those experiences resulted in losses in the quarterfinals.

They are the co-champions in the Large Division of the Badger Conference with Beaver Dam this spring. The Red Hawks blanked Oregon 7-0 to advance to State from the Oconomowoc Sectional final. 

Saturday’s championship games will STREAM HERE online or on WLUK (FOX)/WCWF(CW) in Green Bay/Appleton.

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The Galloping Ghosts, now on a 108-game winning streak, are back at the State Tournament for the sixth time overall and for the fourth year in a row. They captured the gold trophy in each of their previous State appearances, including 2010, 201720212022 and 2023.

Division 1

Quarterfinals – Thursday, June 6
Game-1:  #2 Kenosha Bradford (25-3) vs. #7 Cedarburg (24-4) – 8 a.m.
Game-2:  #3  Sun Prairie East (22-2) vs. #6 Watertown (20-4) – 10 a.m.*
Game-3:  #1 Kaukauna (26-0) vs. #8 Hamilton (19-7) – Noon*
Game-4:  #4 Milton (24-2) vs. #5 New Richmond (21-3)- 2 p.m.*

Semifinals – Friday, June 7
Game-5:  Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 – 7 p.m.
Game-6:  Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4 – 9 p.m.*

Championship – Saturday, June 8
Game-7:  Winner of Game 5 vs. Winner of Game 6 – 6:30 p.m.*

By Dan Plutchak

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