New Palestine Powers To Class 3A Softball Title
A huge 4th inning powered New Palestine’s run to claim their fourth Softball State Finals Championship.
With the game tied at two a piece, freshman catcher Michaela Jones started the big inning with a single to right field, and senior Mary Crumlin helped build the momentum by poking the ball through the right side of the infield for a base hit. After Jones scored on a throwing error that allowed sophomore Emma Tucher to reach safely, a sacrifice fly from Tatum Biddle plated the second run of the inning. A walk from senior second baseman Abby Davis set the stage for the Dragons’ fireworks, as junior shortstop Ashley Prange belted a three-run home run. The New Palestine offense wasn’t finished yet, though. Sophomore third baseman Emily O’Connor kept up the clinic by doubling to center field. Two batters later, O’Connor scored on Elisha Barker’s RBI single. Michaela Jones, in her second at bat of the inning, smashed a double to right field that brought Tianna Hart (who was pinch running for Barker) home. Mary Crumlin followed suit by notching her second hit as well, this time an RBI double. Overall, the Dragons’ high powered offense exploded for eight runs on seven hits in the inning.
Trying to keep pace, Kankakee plated two runs in both the fifth and sixth inning, bringing them to within five runs. With momentum slowly starting to swing the Kougars’ way, New Palestine emphatically shut the door by adding two more insurance runs in the top half of the seventh inning.
Over the course of the game, New Palestine, coached by Ed Marcum, set team records for most hits and runs in a 3A State Finals game. The game also saw state records set in most combined hits and runs.
The Dragons finished their season on a 22-game win streak, ending with a 31-2 record. The state runner-up Kankakee Kougars, coached by Brian Flynn, finished with a record of 22-9.
Elisha Barker of New Palestine Wins Class 3A Mental Attitude Award
Members of the IHSAA Executive Committee announced Elisha Barker of New Palestine High School as the winner of this year’s Mental Attitude Award in Class 3A Softball.
An Indiana Softball All-Star Team and 1st Team Academic All-State selection, Elisha owns a career record of 56-8 heading into the 2017 State Finals. She has a career ERA of 1.94, with 17 saves, .395 career batting average, and eight home runs in 2017. Elisha received the Presidential scholarship to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.
In her community, Elisha has volunteers for Cancer Care packages at Riley, Seedline Ministry for China boarder soldiers, and reading programs with the elementary schools in her district. Her leadership on the field reflects that off the field, where she is a youth instructor for pitching at a local youth league and a clinic demonstrator for her school corporation student outreach program. Graduating with a 4.2 GPA, Elisha was involved in many organizations in high school, including Spanish Honor Society, National Honor Society, and Dragon Leadership Program mentor and panel member for elementary students.
Elisha is the daughter of Greg and Lynn Barker of Greenfield, Indiana. She will be attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Dayton Beach, Florida. She plans to major in mechanical engineering, specializing in robotics.
Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance presented a $1,000 scholarship to New Palestine High School in the name of Elisha Barker.