Daily Reporter staff reports
The New Palestine girls tennis team swept Greenfield-Central 5-0 in the first round of the Mt. Vernon Sectional on Thursday and advances to today’s championship match against the Marauders.
Thursday’s winners for the Dragons on the singles side were No. 1 Kristi LeBeau (6-3, 6-1) against Emma Vowell, No. 2 Amelia Fleetwood (6-1, 7-5) versus Lindsey McCord and No. 3 Katie Settergren (6-1, 6-1) against Kendall Barr.
On the doubles courts, the No. 1 team of Alana Henry and Lauren Hardebeck defeated Claire Talbott and Kate Henderson 6-1, 6-0, while Jamie Mittman and Cassie Willhelm triumphed 6-2, 6-3 in the No. 2 match against Rachel Berish and Sara Hudson.
It was the second time this season New Palestine has swept the Cougars.
Now the Dragons will have to worry about the Hancock County champion Marauders, a team that cruised past them 5-0 less than two weeks ago.
“I feel optimistic,” New Palestine coach Chris Hardin said of his team’s chances of upsetting the Marauders on their home court. “Our girls have been hitting the ball really well lately. And it’s not just their fundamentals that have improved. It’s their confidence.”
Hardin said his Dragons were not playing with nearly as much confidence earlier in the season as they are now. The key, he said, has been learning to focus on the point at hand.
“We’ll win if we just play one point at a time,” Hardin said. “We can’t worry about the last point or the next set or whether the score is 40-0 or 0-40. We just have to focus on the next point.”
The championship match is scheduled for 4:30 today at Mt. Vernon.
TRACK AND FIELD
County girls qualify for regional competitions
Hancock County’s track and field teams will be sending more competitors to their respective regionals.
Because of an IHSAA rule change this season, only the top three finishers from each sectional earned automatic regional-qualifying bids, instead of four as in years past.
Filling out the remainder of the field are the competitors with the next best non-top three performances from a regional’s feeder sectionals.
For Greenfield-Central, that means the 4×800 relay team; Caitey Sosnowski (discus); Bailey Thompson (pole vault); as well as Regan Lewis and Maddie Wise (long jump) earned the right to compete with their teammates at Tuesday’s Shelbyville Regional.
For New Palestine, Mattie Waggoner (1,600-meter run) and Rachel Wineman have been added to the regional qualifying list.
In the Ben Davis Regional, Hope Spaulding earned bids in the 100- and 300-meter dashes for Eastern Hancock. Karlee Gray also has been added to the Royals regional roster in the 200-meter dash.
Mt. Vernon’s Alexis Franklin (100-meter dash) and Riley Chambers (shot put) will be joining their Marauders teammates at Tuesday’s regional.
Marauders escape with victory against Elwood
Elwood jumped all over their hosts early, but the Marauders were able to mount a comeback Wednesday night and pick up a 12-11 extra-innings victory.
The Panthers posted six first-inning runs to put Mt. Vernon in an early hole. But the Marauders responded with five runs in their half of the frame and would eventually tie the game at 7-7 in the third.
Elwood regained the lead in the sixth, scoring four times and taking an 11-7 lead. Again, though, Mt. Vernon had an answer: Michael Cripe launched a three-run homer in the bottom of the inning to bring the Marauders within one.
Mount Vernon would tie the game in the seventh before Noah Powell ended things in the bottom of the ninth. He knocked in Tyler Franklin to clinch the walk-off win for the Marauders in the bottom of the ninth.
Powell paced the Mt. Vernon offense, going 5 for 5 for five with three stolen bases and two RBIs. Christian Smith was one for four with two stolen bases.
On the mound, Mitch McCarthy earned the win, throwing 3.2 scoreless innings and striking out seven.
Mt. Vernon (14-11, 8-4 Hoosier Heritage Conference) plays its final two games of the season tonight at league and county rival New Palestine (15-10, 7-5 HHC). The Marauders trail Class 3A No. 9 Yorktown (20-3, 9-3 HHC) by just one game in the conference.
Greenfield-Central earns win in close game
The Cougars pulled out a 9-8 on Wednesday night at Franklin Central to claim their third consecutive victory.
A night after going 3 for 4 with four RBIs and helping the blue-and-gold down Anderson, Dylan Cheshier played hero again. On Wednesday the Greenfield-Central senior delivered a two-out, two-RBI triple in the top of the seventh to put the Cougars ahead 9-8.
Greenfield-Central (11-14, 6-6 Hoosier Heritage Conference) finishes up its regular-season schedule with tonight’s doubleheader at league-leading and Class 3A No. 9 Yorktown (20-3, 9-3 HHC).
Elliot leads Dragons in defeat of Rushville
New Palestine’s Brady Elliot earned match medalist honors by shooting a 38 and leading the Dragons to a 177-197 win against Rushville on Wednesday.
Rounding out the scorers for New Palestine were Evan Rejer (45), Lucas Swanson (46), and Brody Harter, Nicholas Lyon and Elijah Domogala, who each fired 48s.
New Palestine’s reserve team also won 196-227.
The Dragons tee off again Tuesday at Greenwood.