Dragons Repeat as Softball State Champions
New Palestine scored all three of its runs in the third inning in a 3-1 come-from-behind win over South Bend St. Joseph in the Class 3A Softball State Championship game at Purdue University’s Bittinger Stadium.
It was the Dragons’ second straight state title and fifth overall. All five champions have come under head coach Ed Marcum, who is in the 15th season at New Palestine. Marcum is now tied with Center Grove’s Russ Milligan for the most state titles in tournament history.
Megan Welsh’s RBI single in the top of the third inning scored Hannah Goerke to give South Bend St. Joseph a 1-0 lead before New Palestine came back to take the lead for good in the bottom of the third.
TeTe Hart singled and Jaylin Calvert doubled before Ashley Prange was intentionally walked to load the bases for the Dragons.
Hart later scored New Palestine’s first run, and Michaela Jones hit a two-run double to score Calbert and Prange to put the Dragons ahead for good. It was New Palestine’s 20th straight win at the end of a 30-1 season.
Mackenzie Jones pitched a complete game for the Dragons with seven strikeouts and two walks while giving up five hits and one earned run.
South Bend St. Joseph pitcher Lauren Sandor had five strikeouts, two walks, eight hits and one earned run in six innings. The Indians finished the year 25-6.
New Palestine’s Ashley Prange Wins Class 3A Mental Attitude Award
Members of the IHSAA Executive Committee announced Ashley Prange from New Palestine High School as the winner of this year’s Mental Attitude Award in Class 3A Softball.
Prange, who plays shortstop for the Dragons, is a three-time all-state player, four-year starter and has been named her team’s MVP the last three seasons. She is the current state leader in career home runs with 46 and entered today’s game tied for the state record in career RBI with 182. She has already been named this year’s Gatorade Player of the Year in Indiana.
Ashley has been a two-year member of the school’s Dragon Leadership Program and has been active with Best Buddies and Champions Together through Special Olympics Indiana.
She is the daughter of Scott and Lori Prange of New Palestine. She will attend Ohio State University in the fall where she will play softball for the Buckeyes and study Education/Business.
Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance presented a $1,000 scholarship to New Palestine High School in the name of Ashley Prange.