KAUKAUNA — Chasing history.
The Kaukauna softball team is three wins shy of tying their program record 51 straight wins, sitting at 28-0 on the season and ending last year on a 20 game win-streak.
The Galloping Ghosts were crowned the sectional champions as they defeated conference foe Hortonville 5-1 on Thursday.
Now, the team is heading down to Madison next week eyeing a repeat after winning the 2021 state title.
“They want to be known as the best team to walk through KHS,” said Kaukauna head coach Tim Roehrig. “I said, ‘you can’t do that until you beat that record, until then you can talk to me about anything.’ We want to be focusing on us and what we have to do and it showed today.”
Fox Valley Association player of the year, freshman Karly Meredith, the ace for Kaukauna, has only given up two runs all year. She bounced back after giving up a lead-off homer on Thursday.
“We just let it go,” said Meredith on bouncing back after giving up the dinger. “It happens, so we just smiled through it and came back.”
“What amazes me is her work ethic,” said her battery mate, senior catcher Anna LaCount. “She’s so determined. She pitches every single day. She works hard. She doesn’t take no for an answer.”
The Galloping Ghosts have two other stud pitchers as well, in seniors Skyler Calmes and Addison Race who have ERA's under 1.6.
“We got three great pitchers and we told them all, ‘if you’re not feeling it that day, we’re going to the next one,’” said Roehrig. “We got enough horses in the stable that can do that. We are a team that loves to play and with a girl like (Meredith) and with any one of those girls on the mound, you’re going to have a tough day against the Ghosts.”
According to Roehrig, his team hasn’t even hit their peak yet
“This year’s team walked in knowing how good they could be, but they still don’t know that they haven’t hit their peak yet,” he said. “I’m going to say that to everybody, they have not hit their peak yet. I've seen them in tournaments when they’ve hit their peak and that’s a Cadillac and we haven’t hit the Cadillac stage yet, but we’ll get there.”
Roehrig says in order to win their second straight title, they’ll need to have good fielding and good pitching.
“We have to stay believing in ourselves,” Roehrig said. “We have to worry about us and if we stay focused and centered in on who we are – man, we are tough. We’ll go at anybody.”
Kaukauna will find out what seed they are in the state tournament on Saturday.