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Softball state champions feature familiar faces

- From staff reports

The four class state championships in softball were decided on Saturday in Purdue University's Bittenger Stadium in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Following are capsules for each of the four games.

4A: Center Grove 1, Leo 0

Center Grove scored an unearned run in the first inning and made it stand up for the program's state record seventh state softball championship.

The Trojans (28-3) rode the back of pitcher Abby Herbst, who fired a three-hit shutout, striking out 12 Leo batters and walking none.

While Herbst proved mighty in the circle, she also drew a two-out walk in the first and was replaced by courtesy runner Sydney McConnell. McConnell stole second base before clean-up hitter Lexi Fair sent a long fly to right field, which was misplayed allowing McConnell to score.


Leo also had a stellar pitching performance from Ashley Miller, who surrendered only three hits and only one Center Grove batter got past second base after the first inning.

Though Center Grove has won the most championships in state history, it was the first under coach Alyssa Coleman – who took over the program this season after guiding Speedway to the Class 2A title in 2018. Coleman became the first coach in state history to lead two different schools to state championships - in back-to-back seasons no less.

The Lions (25-2) got two hits from Kiley Patterson. 

Leo's Ellenor Schelm won the Class 4A Mental Attitude Award.

3A: New Palestine 10, Yorktown 0

In a game that marked the first time two schools from the same conference (Hoosier Heritage) met for the title, the Dragons became the first school in IHSAA history to win three consecutive championships.

New Palestine (29-3) took a 2-0 lead in the first inning then put the game away with a seven-run sixth.

New Pal pitcher Sam Booe, allowed just two hits, one walk while striking out six to finish the season 18-0.

Emma Tucher had three hits and two runs batted in while Emily O’Conner had two hits and three RBIs for the Dragons. Leadoff hitter Jaylin Calvert scored three runs.

The championship is the sixth for coach Ed Marcum, all at New Palestine, and breaks a tie with retired Center Grove coach Russ Milligan for most in state championship history. The victory is also the 20th-straight tournament win for the New Palestine program, a state record.

Yorktown didn’t get its first hit until Hannah Avila singled to center field with one out in the sixth. The Tigers finished 18-9.

O'Connor won the Class 3A Mental Attitude Award.



2A: Bremen 2, Tecumseh 1

Rylee Hershberger’s fifth-inning single and subsequent error allowed two runs to score and provided Bremen with all it would need to earn the program's first softball state title.

Bremen’s Kaelyn Shively and her Tecumseh counterpart, Ashtyn Green engaged in a pitcher’s duel worthy of a championship game. Shively tossed the complete game, giving up only one first-inning run and three hits. She allowed only one runner past first base the rest of the way.

Green, meanwhile, shut down Bremen’s offense through four innings, allowing only three base runners while protecting the one-run lead.

In the fifth, Bremen’s Caitlyn Myers led off with a single and Hannah Rowe followed by reaching on an error as she tried to sacrifice Myers over. Hershberger, a senior, followed with a line drive hit to left field that skipped over the fielder’s glove and to the fence, scoring Myers and courtesy runner Paige Thompson.

The victory for coach Mike Huppert’s Lions (29-2) marked first title in the sport after runner-up finishes in 2008 and in 2018. Bremen finished the season on a 17-game winning streak.

Tecumseh, playing in Class 2A for the first time under coach Gordon Wood, fell short of their fourth state title and finished 26-4.

Shively won the Class 2A Mental Attitude Award.

A: Indy Lutheran 4, Pioneer 1

Rylee Morris slapped a two-out, two-run single in the top of the seventh inning to lift Indianapolis Lutheran to it's win over Class A defending champion and top-ranked Pioneer (31-3).

Morris sent the hit to center field on a 1-2 pitch from Pioneer freshman Hailey Cripe to score Kerri Selzer and Gabby Moore, who had previously singled and walked, respectively, to break a 1-1 tie. Later in the inning, Quinn Johnson delivered an RBI single to finish the three-run rally.

Senior Miranda Dunn pitched the final 1 1/3 innings for the victory. Starter Kaylee Gregory and Dunn combined to hold down the high-scoring Panther offense which came in averaging 11.3 runs per game.

The victory for coach Kevin Schmidt’s squad gives the Saints their third state championship and first since 2007. Lutheran also won the Class A title in 2004.

Pioneer's Alexis Robinson won Class A Mental Attitude Award.



High school baseball finals set

Northern Semistate scores

At Plymouth

A: Washington Township 13, Rossville 8

4A: Hamilton Southeastern 4, Mishawaka 2

At Kokomo

3A: Andrean 5, Yorktown 0

2A: Alexandria 9, Whiting 0

Southern Semistate scores

At Jasper

A: University (Carmel) 4, Tecumseh 1



2A: Southridge 7, So. Vermillion 1

At Mooresville

3A: Edgewood 2, Silver Creek 1

4A: Columbus East 10, Avon 3

State finals, at Victory Field, Indianapolis

Monday, June 17

Class A: University (21-10-1) vs. Washington Township (23-6), 5:30 p.m.

Class 4A: Columbus East (25-4) vs. Hamilton Southeastern (22-8), 8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, June 18

Class 3A: Edgewood (24-3) vs. Andrean (35-1), 5:30 p.m.

Class 2A: Southridge (17-8) vs. Alexandria (28-6), 8:30 p.m.