INDIANAPOLIS — New Palestine got off to a good start and never let up in Tuesday’s Regional 5 championship game at Brunette Park.

The fourth-ranked Dragons softball team scored in every inning — only needing five —and went on to knock off No. 3 Indianapolis Cathedral, 12-1, to become regional champions for the first time since 2019, and advance to Saturday’s Class 4A Bedford North Lawrence Semi-State.

New Palestine (24-4) will take on Avon (19-9), a 10-2 winner over No. 11 Roncalli Tuesday, at 12:30 p.m. The championship game will be played at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Cathedral ends its season 26-4.

New Palestine senior shortstop Allie Blum accounted for two of the Dragons first three runs.

The second batter of the game, Blum hit a solo home run over the right-center field fence to give the Dragons a 1-0 lead.

In her next at-bat — in the third inning — she lined a fly ball to right field. Irish outfielder Amya Gary dove for it but was unable to make the catch. Blum was able to sprint around the bases for an inside-the-park home run and 3-1 New Palestine lead.

Blum came into Tuesday’s game co-leader in the state in home runs with Eastern Hancock’s Brooklyn Willis. With the two against Cathedral, Blum has 19.

“Getting that first home run, it got our team up and got them down,” Blum said. “My inside-the-park one, she dove for it and I was like, ‘Ope, you messed up. I’m going all the way around!”

The next two times Blum came to the plate she was intentionally walked.

Paige Ernstes, who came in with 10 home runs of her own, answered on both occasions. She had an RBI-single in the Dragons’ three-run fourth and, when Blum was walked to load the bases in the fifth, she responded with a grand slam to extend the New Pal lead to 12-1.

“I just wanted it so bad for my team,” Ernstes said. “I know how much we want this season to go well and move on in the postseason. I just went up there and said, ‘I’m going to do some damage for them walking Allie.’”

“I thought Paige would take it personally if they walked Allie to get to her,” New Palestine head coach Ed Marcum said. “I think she did that both times. You could see it in her face.”

Cathedral answered Blum’s first home run with a run in the bottom half of the opening inning.

The Dragons nearly got out of trouble unscathed. After Anna Moore’s leadoff triple, Blum made a running catch on a short pop up behind third base and senior pitcher Courtney Study fanned Angie Valentine. Maddie Liter was able to place a single perfectly into center field to get Moore across with Cathedral’s only run of the game.

The game wasn’t tied for long.

In the Dragons’ second, Katie Hirschy drew a lead-off walk, went to second on a wild pitch and to third on a ground out. With two outs, frosh Payton Dye drilled a liner in to left field for an RBI-single.

New Palestine scored one run in each of the first three innings, three in the fourth and six in the fifth.

In the fourth, after a leadoff walk to Maddie Engle, Reese Rosenbaum hit an RBI-double to left field. With one out, Ella Holman changed places with Rosenbaum with an RBI-double. Jersi Gross added an infield single and Blum was walked. The first time up with the bases loaded, Ernstes lined an RBI-single to left field.

In the sixth, all six runs came with two outs.

Engle reached on an error and after a hard liner to center by Rosenbaum recorded the second out of the frame, the Dragons next five batters reached. Engle had advanced a pair of bases on two wild pitches. Dye drew a walk and Holman followed with her second RBI-hit of the game on a single to right field. Gross lined a single off the third baseman’s glove for another run and Blum drew her second intentional walk. This time with the bases full of Dragons Ernstes drove them all in by crushing a pitch over the left field fence.

“Even our outs were hit hard,” Marcum added. “We hit all the way through the order. Everybody stepped up big for us and got big hits when we needed it.”

Study retired the side in order in the final inning and only gave up four hits and just two after the Irish scored in the first. She had two strikeouts.

”It’s exciting and I’m so happy for all of them, especially the seniors,” Marcum added. “To have seven seniors that have been so close through the years and battled together. We’ve struggled the last several years with not being able to pull through in the sectional. You take a kid like Allie, who has played every sport and hadn’t won a sectional until softball, I’m excited for her and the team. They did it together.”

New Palestine 12, Cathedral 1

New Palestine (24-4);111;36;—;12;11;0

Cathedral (26-4);100;00;—;1;4;1

Courtney Study and Reese Rosenbaum. Sidney Feczko, Maddie Liter (5) and Aubrie Wright; 2B: NP – Rosenbaum, Ella Holman. 3B: C – Anna Moore. HR: NP – Blum 2 (19), Paige Ernstes (11). WP: Study (15-2). LP: Feczko (20-4).