FORTVILLE — The New Palestine girls tennis team just missed out on a sweep Thursday night during the Mt. Vernon Girls Tennis Sectional quarterfinals.
Opening the sectional tournament against Hoosier Heritage Conference rival Pendleton Heights, the Dragons worked quickly and prevailed 4-1 to move into today’s semifinal round.
The Dragons will face defending sectional champion Mt. Vernon in the semifinals today at 4:30 p.m. Greenfield-Central and Eastern Hancock compete in the other semifinal match. The sectional championship will be conducted between both semifinal winners on Saturday at 10 a.m.
New Palestine seized its first point against Pendleton Heights at No. doubles where Bethany Blachly and Lily Haeberle came out victorious.
The next team point came from Kaitlyn Mitchell’s win at No. 3 singles. Mia Knoop clinched the third point and the team win at singles before Maddy Potter and Josephine Harvey finalized the margin at No. 1 doubles.
The Dragons defeated Pendleton Heights 4-1 during their regular-season match, 4-1, on May 13. New Palestine is now 13-7 on the season.
Marauders clinch HHC outright
The objective was clear. If the Mt. Vernon baseball team swept the host Yorktown Tigers on Thursday to complete their two-game Hoosier Heritage Conference series, then the Marauders would win a second straight outright league title.
The Marauders understood the assignment.
Mt. Vernon scored seven runs in the top of the second, added another four in the third and posted 10 hits to topple Yorktown, 11-4.
The Marauders are now 14-8 on the season and finished their HHC run at 12-2 to take first place and win their third league title in program history — second straight outright.
Landon Clark did most of the damage, hitting 3-for-4 with two runs and six RBI behind two doubles and a home run.
Gehrig Slunaker (1-for-2), Gavin Johnston (1-for-1), Eli Bridenthal (1-for-2, two RBI) and Konnor Scheidt (1-for-2) each had one double.
Bryce Miller drove in a run as did Gavin Sullivan (1-for-3).
Joseph Wilson recorded the pitching win, going five frames with two hits surrendered, four runs charged against, three walks and five strikeouts.
Clark closed out the final two innings with no hits allowed and four strikeouts.
Dragons complete sweep
The New Palestine baseball team did its job on Thursday night. In need of a victory for a shot at a potential tie for first place in the Hoosier Heritage Conference’s final standings, the Dragons came up big to win their 14th consecutive game.
The Dragons completed a two-game series sweep of host New Castle, 7-1, and secured sole possession of second place, finishing one game behind repeat and outright champion Mt. Vernon.
New Palestine grabbed a 2-0 lead over New Castle after four innings and broke the game open in the fifth with a four-run frame behind a three-run home run by Maddox Manes.
A Zayden Stiller RBI single in the top of the seventh increased the Dragons’ lead to 7-1.
Carter Stogsdill closed out the game on the mound with two strikeouts and a walk in one inning pitched. He didn’t allow a hit.
The win improved New Palestine’s season record to 20-5 overall and 11-3 in the HHC. Mt. Vernon won the HHC championship with a 12-2 conference record after sweeping Yorktown on Thursday. New Castle, which led the HHC most of the season, dropped to third place at 10-4.
Manes went 2-for-4 with a run scored and four RBI for the Dragons. Stiller was 2-for-3 with two RBI. Ben Morwick went 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Wes Stiller finished 1-for-3.
Manes earned the pitching win, going six innings with two hits allowed, one earned run charged and 11 strikeouts.
The Dragons’ regular-season schedule concludes tonight at home against visiting Center Grove.