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'Like piranhas on a zebra:' Kaukauna's offense erupts in state softball semifinal win

The Galloping Ghosts beat Burlington 11-1 and will play for a state championship on Wednesday.
Posted at 10:35 PM, Jun 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-28 23:35:55-04

GREEN BAY, Wis. (NBC 26) — Monday night's Division 1 softball state semifinal could have gone a whole lot differently.

For a second straight game, top-seeded Kaukauna fell behind early as Burlington loaded the bases in the top of the first inning. However, star pitcher Skyler Calmes remained calm; she limited the damage and only allowed one run - which came home after an error on Galloping Ghosts third baseman Paige Miller.

Kaukauna's offense was quiet for the first two innings, before a slight change made a big difference in the third.

"Our adjustment was to move up in the box a little bit more," junior catcher Anna LaCount said. "We came from really fast pitching (in the semifinal Monday) morning and we had to adjust.

"Getting up in the box and getting our timing down we just hit it," she said. "We hit the snot out of the ball."

Led by LaCount's two-run double, the Ghosts put together a two-out rally to score three runs in the third inning.

It didn't end there. They added on with three more in the fourth, four runs in the fifth, and another in the sixth inning to win 11-1 on the ten-run-rule.

"You guys could hear the energy and you guys could hear the enthusiasm from the kids," head coach Tim Roehrig said after the game.

"When they get on a roll like that they're like piranhas on a zebra, man," he added. "It's bad news. It's fun as a coach. I just kind of sit back and watch them go. It's like a machine that's got a lot of gas in it and you just kind of sit back and watch that machine roll."

"The piranha and zebra metaphor comes from when we were 10 years old and we just wanted to attack and get that mentality when we were young and then use it here when we're older," LaCount explained. "(Now we're doing it) in bigger games here at state."

The Galloping Ghosts will play Sun Prairie on Wednesday for the WIAA Division 1 state championship. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. at UW-Green Bay's King Park.