New Palestine wins fifth state softball championship

The state champion New Palestine softball team.

The New Palestine Dragons won their second straight IHSAA Class 3A softball championship, and the program’s fifth overall, Saturday with a 3-1 win over South Bend St. Joseph.

Michaela Jones’ third-inning two-run bases-loaded double followed Emily O’Connor’s RBI single to give the Dragons all the offense they would need.

Michaela Jones was 3-for-3 in the contest. O’Connor was 2-for-3, giving the Dragons five of their eight hits. Mackenzie Jones, TeTe Hart and Ashley Prange also had hits for New Palestine.

Senior Mackenzie Jones scattered five hits and struck out seven in a complete-game victory. She allowed only one hit after the third inning, when the Indians put together back-to-back hits to score their only run.

The Dragons finish the season 30-1, their second straight 30-win season. They join the 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2017 New Palestine teams as state champions. The victory gave NP its seventh state title as a school. In addition to the five softball titles, NP won a baseball championship in 2004 and a football title in 2014.

New Palestine joins New Castle volleyball as HHC state champions in the 2017-18 academic yer. This is the second straight academic year in which the HHC has two state champions. Yorktown (volleyball) and New Palestine (softball) won state titles in 2016-17.

The victory is the 18th to be won by an active Hoosier Heritage Conference member, and the 28th overall to be won by a school currently in the HHC. It is the sixth HHC softball state title. In addition to New Palestine’s five titles, Mt. Vernon won the 2A state title in 2000.

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Hoosier Heritage Conference team state champions (18)

2018: New Palestine softball
New Castle volleyball
2017: New Palestine softball
2016: Yorktown volleyball
2014: New Palestine football
2013: Mt. Vernon girls basketball
2012: Yorktown girls golf
2011: Yorktown volleyball
2009: New Palestine softball
2008: Delta volleyball
2008: New Palestine softball
2004: New Palestine baseball
2004: New Palestine softball
2002: Delta volleyball
2002: Delta boys basketball
2001: Delta volleyball
2000: Yorktown volleyball
2000: Mt. Vernon softball

Championships won by current HHC members before joining the conference (10)

2007: New Castle volleyball
 New Castle boys basketball
1985: Delta wrestling
1984: Delta wrestling
1983: Delta wrestling
1982: Delta wrestling
1981: Delta wrestling
1973: Greenfield-Central football
1947: Shelbyville boys basketball
New Castle boys basketball