The New Palestine softball team will finish its season in a familiar spot – the IHSAA State Finals.
They’ll do so against a familiar foe, as the Dragons will face Hoosier Heritage Conference rival No. 7 Yorktown in the 4:30 p.m. championship game June 8 at Bittinger Stadium in West Lafayette.
The top-ranked Dragons earned their spot with a 12-2 victory over No. 4 Danville Saturday night in the Jasper semistate championship game.
Emily O’Connor got the Dragons going with a solo homer in the first, igniting the sixth consecutive tournament game with double-digit runs.
Danville responded with two runs in the bottom of the first on a walk, a single and two errors, taking a short-lived 2-1 lead.
That lead lasted four pitches, as Tatum Biddle led off the top of the second with a solo homer on a 1-2 pitch to center. The Dragons kept hitting, plating two more runs in the inning. Kinsey Mitchell, Emma Tucher and Kendal Calvert loaded the bases with consecutive singles. Jaylin Calvert drove in the go-ahead run with a base hit to center. Michaela Jones added another with an RBI groundout, pushing the lead to 4-2.
The Dragons made it 7-2 in the fourth. Tucher and Kendal Calvert led off with hits. Jones reached on an error, plating one run. Two more came home on Macy Miller’s base hit to center.
Raegan Hiatt and Mitchell led off the fifth with back-to-back hits. They both scored on Kendal Calvert’s triple. A sacrifice fly by Jaylin Calvert made it 10-2. They also touched off a two-run seventh – Hiatt reached on an error and scored on Mitchell’s triple. Tucher then plated another run with an RBI groundout.
In the circle, Sam Booe allowed three hits, no earned runs and struck out seven.
The Dragons enter the State Finals with a 28-3 record. NP faced State Finals opponent Yorktown April 16, winning 17-0 in five innings. NP will be making its eighth State Finals trip since 2003. The Dragons are seeking their third consecutive state title and sixth overall.