New Palestine High School Softball (Varsity)

Softball falls in title game

By Andrew Smith | Jun 8, 2024 1:25 AM


The New Palestine softball team led for much of the evening, but dropped a 2-1 decision to Hamilton Southeastern Friday night in the IHSAA State Finals. A nearly-perfect run through the state tournament came up one inning short for the Dragons, who were making their eighth state championship game appearance since 2003 and finished as the runner-up for the second time. It was the first Class 4A title game appearance. The game was a pitcher's duel between the Dragons' Courtney Study and HSE sophomore Grace Swedarsky. Study allowed eight hits and two runs in seven innings, striking out seven. Swedarsky fanned 13 Dragons and allowed two hits. The Dragons put the leadoff runner on in each of the first two innings, but were unable to score. Study pitched around a runner on third, one-out situation in the first, and stranded a Royal in scoring position in the second. The Dragons took the lead in the third, when Jersi Gross ripped a one-out triple into the leftfield corner. She came home on Allie Blum's sacrifice fly. Sydney Oliver led off the fourth with a single and reached on an error in the sixth, but she would be the Dragons' lone baserunner after the third. Study kept pitching out of trouble, as the Royals stranded two runners in scoring position in the third inning and left runners in scoring position in the next two frames, as she punctuated each with a strikeout. In the sixth, the Royals tied the game when Makena Burlingame led off with her second double of the game. She moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly. After the Dragons were retired in order in the top of the seventh, HSE got a one-out double from Addy Justice. After a walk put two runners aboard, cleanup batter Alex Kiemeyer drove a base hit into left to plate the winning run. The Dragons were outhit 8-2 in the contest. Sydney Oliver was named the IHSAA Mental Attitude Award recipient, becoming the sixth Dragon to win the most prestigious individual award given by the IHSAA. The Dragons finished their season with a 25-5 record.