The New Palestine softball team used timely hitting and a strong pitching performance from Mackenzie Jones to beat Tri-West 8-0 Saturday and advance to the semistate championship game at Jasper.
The Dragons will meet either Jasper or Corydon at 7 p.m. in the championship game.
Jones pitched a three-hit shutout, not allowing a Tri-West batter past second base, in the victory. She allowed two bunt singles to TW leadoff hitter Sydney Lewis, and a fifth-inning single to Avery Heath.
Meanwhile, the Dragons had 13 hits and had traffic in every inning. Emily O’Connor led the way, going 3-for-3 with a double, a run, a walk and an RBI. Ashley Prange was 2-for-4 with a two-run single and a double. Michaela Jones and TeTe Hart were each 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Macy Miller was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Jaylin Calvert and Emma Tucher each also had RBI singles.
NP broke through with four runs in the second. After Tatum Biddle and Mackenzie Jones walked, Hart, Calvert and Prange had back-to-back two-out RBI hits to plate four runs. Prange’s single gave her 67 RBI for the season, tying the single-season state record she set in 2017. In the fourth, Calvert walked and Prange doubled to give the Dragons two in scoring position. O’Connor and Michaela Jones brought them in with back-to-back one-out singles.
NP added two more in the sixth on three hits, including RBI singles from Miller and Tucher.
The Dragons are now 28-1 on the season. They are in the state semifinal for the eighth time in the last 16 seasons.