New Palestine High School
Softball clinches piece of HHC title
By Andrew Smith | May 19, 2023 10:14 PM
The New Palestine softball team clinched a piece of the Hoosier Heritage Conference championship Friday with a 19-2 five-inning rout of Delta.
The Dragons scored in each of their first four at-bats, including an 11-run third inning. The Dragons finished the regular season with a 10-game winning streak and a 21-4 record. They finished HHC play with a 6-1 mark. It marks the Dragons' eighth conference title in the last nine seasons and 12th overall championship since the league began playing softball in 1996.
Paige Ernstes went 4-for-4 with two runs and five RBI to lead a 15-hit attack. Maddie Engle also homered for the Dragons.
Ernstes got things started in the first with a two-out RBI double. After a base hit by Sydney Oliver, Engle homered to center to put the Dragons up 4-0. In the second, the Dragons extended the lead to 7-0 on a two-run single by Allie Blum and an RBI single by Ernstes.
In the third, Kayla Bain led off with a double and Nyla Lewis followed by being hit by a pitch. A walk to Allie Blum loaded the bases. Another walk to Alyssa Mumaw forced in a run. Ernstes followed with a two-run single. Ella Holman added an RBI double. Sydney Hughbanks drove in another run with a groundout. Walks to Katie Hirschy and Nyla Lewis and an error loaded the bases. Reese Rosenbaum drilled a two-run double. Blum, Mumaw and Ernstes then added run-scoring singles.
In the fourth. Holman doubled and scored on Jersi Gross' double to put NP up 19-0.
In addition to Ernstes' four-hit day, three other Dragons had two hits each. Blum was 2-for-3 with three runs and two RBI. Holman was 2-for-2 with two doublers, two runs and an RBI. Bain was 2-for-3 with two doubles and two runs. Rosenbaum was 1-for-1 with a double and two RBI. Engle was 1-for-2 with a three-run homer. Gross was 1-fof-1 with a double, an RBI and four runs. Mumaw was 1-for-3 with a run and two RBI. Oliver was 1-for-1 with a run.
Three Dragons pitchers combined to hold Delta to four hits and two earned runs. Courtney Study earned the win.
The Dragons open sectional play Monday at home against Mt. Vernon, with a first pitch slated for 6 p.m.