New Palestine Rolls to Record Third Consecutive State Title
New Palestine’s 10-0 Class 3A championship game victory came with a host of milestones.
In a game that marked the first time two schools from the same conference (in this case, the Hoosier Heritage) met for the title, the Dragons became the first school in IHSAA history to win three consecutive championships.
The Dragons (29-3) got all the runs they would need in the first inning, taking a 2-0 lead, then put the game away with a seven-run sixth inning.
New Pal pitcher Sam Booe dominated throughout, allowing just two hits, one walk and striking out six. She finishes the season 18-0.
Emma Tucher and Emily O’Conner led the offense for the Dragons. Tucher had three hits and two RBI, while O’Connor had two hits and three RBI. Leadoff hitter Jaylin Calvert scored three runs.
The championship is the sixth for coach Ed Marcum, all at New Palestine. That breaks a tie with retired Center Grove coach Russ Milligan for the most for a coach in state championship history.
The victory is also the 20th-straight tournament win for the New Palestine program, a state record.
Yorktown, coached by Jeff Berger, didn’t get its first hit until Hannah Avila cracked a single to center field with one out in the sixth. The Tigers finish 18-9.
Emily O’Connor wins Class 3A Mental Attitude Award
Members of the IHSAA Executive Committee announced Emily O’Connor of New Palestine High School as the winner of this year’s Mental Attitude Award in Class 3A Softball.
The award is annually presented to a senior participant in the state finals who best demonstrates mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability and is nominated by her principal and coach.
O’Connor, the Dragons’ third baseman, is a two-time All-State selection, three-time All-Conference and All-County and has led her team in home runs the last two years with 25 for her career.
Academically, she graduated with a 3.94 GPA, was a member of the school’s “Academic A Team” and was a member of the National Honor Society. She is the daughter of Aaron and Laura O’Connor of New Palestine, Ind. and will play softball at the University of Indianapolis.
She is the third straight New Palestine softball player to earn the award and the second Dragon athlete this school year joining classmate Luke Ely who was the recipient in Class 5A football last November.
Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance presented a $1,000 scholarship to New Palestine High School in the name of Emily O’Connor.