MADISON — After yesterday’s 4-0 win over Superior in the Division 1 State title game the Kaukauna Galloping Ghosts softball team has etched their name as the best high school softball team in Wisconsin history.
Dynasty is the only way to label it. 81 straight wins, three straight titles, it’s a feat that will likely never be touched again. That’s unless the Galloping Ghosts keep going and going.
It's been a special journey to watch.
“It’s incredible, I mean I have no words,” said sophomore pitcher Karly Meredith, who pitched a complete game shutout and was named Wisconsin Gatorade Player of the Year earlier in the week. “This team is really good. I mean we work hard and we do what we do and show it on the field.”
Most teams just want a chance to win a state title, the Galloping Ghosts, they expect to win it.
"This was the goal the whole time," said Kaukauna head coach Tim Roehrig. "Everybody asks about the streak, everybody asks about all this other stuff, the end goal was (the trophy). Kind of showing the state, we're a program that is going to continue to build and continue to put quality kids on that field."
Game in and game out they get everyone’s best, because everyone wants to beat the best.
“There was a target on our back all season,” said senior Kally Meredith who scored three of the team’s four runs in the title game. “Whether being back to back state champions, whether with the streak, whether not returning many players and we just blocked all that out and just put our backs to the middle and fought the whole state of Wisconsin. I couldn’t be prouder of my team.”
That target on their back, they view it as a privilege.
“We’re looking at this as a positive and we did all year long,” Roehrig said. “We just kept on saying it’s a privilege. Take it one game at a time, it’s a privilege to do what we’re doing out here.”
Roehrig has coached this senior class since they were little, as he estimates that they have put in 10’s of thousands of hours together practicing.
“I literally watched those kids grow up on the field right in front of me,” said the Kaukauna head coach. “I was like a second dad to a lot of those kids. Because they went through all the trials and tribulations, boyfriends and everything else you could possibly think of, I saw it all happen. And you know what, they just came out here and they love to compete and we said at an early age we’re going to go compete each and every day and there’s times we got crushed, we got absolutely pounded by teams when we were little sometimes.”
And it all paid off. The senior class was three for three on winning state titles as the pandemic wiped away their freshman season..
“Every single one of our seniors really brought something to the table and they were tremendous all year,” Roehrig said. “They all accepted their roles and did what they had to do because they wanted to win.”
"We've been working hard for this since we picked up a ball, it's just crazy," said Kaukauna senior Paige Miller, who had a hit and run in the title game. "You don't actually think it's going to happen until you're right here in the moment. All these feelings, it's just so surreal. I think these girls deserve the world and we deserve this and we worked our butts off for this, so it means everything."
And every single one of them does it for their teammates beside them. They’re proud to represent Kaukauna High School.
“I’m just so proud to have this opportunity, I know a lot of people don’t even win one state championship. To go out on three is just insane. I’m really proud to wear the Ghosts jersey,” said Kally Meredith.