File photo from Thursday's quarterfinal game.

MADISON — The goal this year always has been to win a fourth straight state softball title.

But first, the Kaukauna Ghosts needed to advance to the title game.

Instead, the Milton Red Hawks rallied in the seventh inning to pull off the 5-3 upset over the three-time state champions in the WIAA Division 1 state semifinal game.

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Kaukauna scored first in the bottom half of the opening inning with an RBI single from Jozy Ebben sending Paige Bodenheimer across the plate.

But in the third, back-to-back, two-out doubles scored two for Milton, which went up 2-1.

Milton loaded the bases in the fifth, but Kaukauna got out of the jam, fueling the Ghosts’ bottom half of the inning.

Paige Bodenheimer started the rally with a perfectly placed bunt, then Karly Meredith followed with her first base hit of the night.

Jozy Ebben reached base on a Milton error, allowing Bodenheimer to score and tie the game. Then Meredith scored on a Summer Schmidt sacrifice bunt to give the Ghosts the lead back at 3-2.

The two teams traded punches until the Milton half of the seventh when a bases-loaded hit to right by Jenna Benash with two outs scored Julia Schultz and Lynden Briggs to put the Red Hawks up 4-3.

Julia Schultz scored on an error to push the lead to 5-3 to close out the win.

The Red Hawks play for the title Saturday about 6:30 p.m. against 2-seed Kenosha Bradford, a 1-0 winner over Watertown in the other semifinal game.

Saturday‚Äôs championship games will STREAM HERE ON WKOW or on WLUK (FOX)/WCWF(CW) in Green Bay/Appleton.

By Dan Plutchak

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