New Palestine was no-hit through 4 innings

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FRANKLIN — “Competitive Greatness.”

The phrase is imprinted on the back of New Palestine softball’s team shirts.

And since they were hitless through four innings, trailed 5-0 after five frames and were down to their last out in the seventh, the Class 4A No. 6 Dragons needed every ounce of positive energy from their team motto to rally for a thrilling 7-5 victory over Center Grove in the Sectional 13 semifinals Tuesday at Franklin.

For the eighth consecutive season, NP (24-3) is in the sectional finals. Franklin (16-9) is the lone squad standing between the red and white and its first sectional crown since 2011. First pitch of tonight’s Sectional 13 championship game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

“We’ve talked about it all year, competitive greatness. That’s being our best when we have to be our best. That’s what we’ve talked about,” said Dragons’ coach Ed Marcum, whose team has now won 10 straight.

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