New Palestine High School
Softball moves into HHC lead with 11-2 victory
By Andrew Smith | May 11, 2023 8:27 PM
The New Palestine softball team moved into a tie for the Hoosier Heritage Conference lead Thursday with an 11-2 victory at Pendleton Heights.
The Dragons improved to 16-4 overall and 5-1 in the HHC with the victory. They can clinch a share of the title with a victory over Delta in the May 19 regular season finale.
Paige Ernstes led an explosive offense, going 4-for-5 to deliver four of the Dragons' 16 hits. Sydney Oliver and Katie Hirschy each went 3-for-5 and scored twice. Hirschy homered and drove in three. Nyla Lewis was 2-for-3 and scored twice. Allie Blum was 2-for-5 and hit a solo homer. Maddie Engle was 1-for-3 with a double and drove in four runs. She also scored one. Alyssa Mumaw was 1-for-5 with an RBI.
Courtney Study went the distance in the circle, scattering 10 hits and striking out three. She allowed two earned runs.
The Dragons took little time getting started, as Blum homered to left in the first as the game's second batter. With two outs, the Dragons added on, as Ernstes and Oliver singled and both scored on Engle's double to center to put the Dragons up 3-0.
PH homered in the bottom of the first, but Hirschy responded with a solo homer to lead off the second. Lewis then singled and scored on Mumaw's base hit.
In the bottom of the second, Study pitched out of a bases-loaded jam to keep the lead at 5-1.
The Dragons added a run in the third when Engle walked and scored on Hirschy's single, then made it a 10-1 game in the fourth with four runs. Ernstes and Oliver led off with singles. Engle drove home a run with a sacrifice fly. With two outs, Hirschy and Lewis had back-to-back RBI singles and another run scored on a wild pitch.
The Dragons added a run in the fifth when Ernstes doubled and scored. It put NP up 11-1. PH scored a run in the bottom of the frame to extend the game.
The Dragons are next in action Saturday, when they travel to Northwest Indiana to face Munster and Crown Point.