Girls Varsity Softball · Softball takes semistate opener

Three batters into the game, the New Palestine softball team had taken a multi-run lead in Saturday’s semistate at Jasper.

The Dragons never let up, beating Silver Creek 10-0 in six innings to clinch a spot in Saturday’s 7 p.m. semistate championship game. No. 1 NP (27-3) will face No. 4 Danville (26-3). Danville beat Heritage Hills 1-0 in Saturday’s second semifinal. The winner of tonight’s game will play in next week’s IHSAA State Finals at Purdue University.

NP took a 3-0 lead in the first inning, as Jaylin Calvert worked a nine-pitch walk, then scored when Michaela Jones blasted a double to left. Emily O’Connor followed with another RBI double to left and would later score on Kinsey Mitchell’s sacrifice fly.

New Palestine busted the game open in the fourth. Kendal Calvert doubled to plate Mitchell, who led off with a bunt single. Jaylin Calvert and Mic Jones hit back-to-back first-pitch homers, pushing the lead to 7-0 in the span of three pitches. NP added another run in the fifth when Raegan Hiatt led off with a single. Her courtesy runner, Sarah Greene, scored on a wild pitch. Two more runs came home in the sixth when Jones and O’Connor hit back-to-back singles. Jones scored on a wild pitch, while O’Connor’s pinch runner, Alaina Miller, came home on Tatum Biddle’s triple to left.

Pitchers Sam Booe and Katie Kottlowski combined on a one-hitter, with Silver Creek’s lone hit coming two batters into the first. SC had just three baserunners in the contest. Booe struck out five in four innings. Kottlowski threw two scoreless, hitless innings, striking out three.

Jones led the Dragons’ offense, going 3-for-4 with three runs, two RBI, a double and a homer. Jaylin Calvert was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer and two runs. O’Connor was 2-for-3 with a double, run and RBI. Biddle was 1-for-4 with an RBI triple. Hiatt and Macy Miller were 1-for-3 each. Kendal Calvert was 1-for-3 with a double, a run and an RBI. Mitchell was 1-for-2 with a run and an RBI.

The Dragons outhit Silver Creek 11-1. They have outscored their tournament foes 64-3 through four games.

Michaela Jones homered and had three hits in the Dragons’ victory.