Powerhouse ends Corydon’s run
Corydon Central’s run to the final four, the deepest in softball program history, came to a close at the Class 3A Jasper Semi-state championship Saturday night.
New Palestine, the defending 3A state champion, boasted a roster of eight Division I recruits, according to The Indianapolis Star. The power of the Lady Dragons was too much for the Corydon Central squad that showed grit all season. Backed by two home runs ‘ one a grand slam from Macy Miller ‘ New Palestine earned a return spot in the state final with a 12-1 win in six innings.
‘I don’t see any doubt they are the best 3A team in the state,’ Corydon Central coach Jeff Carver said. ‘If you have to get beat, you are OK getting beat by the best.’
New Palestine has won four softball titles since 2004 and was coming off earning a 2017 ring.
‘I’ve watched a lot of small college softball ‘ NAIA, Division II, Division III ‘ and that team would wear those teams out,’ Carver said. ‘Their pitcher (Mac Jones) wasn’t over-powering and dominating, but she was disciplined.’
Corydon Central managed to produce one run, coming in the bottom of the second when trailing 4-0. Kaleigh Oskin had a single to left and was later followed by Cami Schmitt reaching on an infield hit.
With two outs, Samie Ripperdan brought in a run with a single to left. Ripperdan and Schmitt were both later thrown out on the base paths.
‘We picked up a run in the second inning and almost had another run,’ Carver said. ‘It was a close call that didn’t go our way at the plate where we could have had two runs. I think us scoring a run probably turned them on even more.’
Corydon Central’s lone seniors ‘ twin sisters Kaleigh and Sydney Oskin ‘ shared the pitching duties against a New Palestine lineup that produced 67 home runs leading into the semi-state.
‘Sydney and Kaleigh threw a combined 160-plus strikeouts this season, and they recorded zero against that team,’ Carver said. ‘They hit, they hit and they hit. They are so good they can pick out the spot they want to hit it. They could see a ball an inch out of the strike zone. They wouldn’t touch a rise ball or drop ball. If you got behind them and fed them a meat ball, there it went.’
Ashley Prange, an Ohio State University signee, had a home run in the early innings. Teammate Macy Miller provided the biggest blast, a grand slam in the fourth, to put New Palestine up 9-1.
‘My only regret was our girls, who had a great season, had to finish in that fashion,’ Carver said. ‘I wish it would have been a more competitive game.’
The Lady Dragons out-hit Corydon Central 13-3 during the six innings. Prange was 4 for 4 with three RBIs. Jaylin Calvert had three hits, while Emily O’Connor added two.
Mac Jones went 4-1/3 innings for the win in the circle, fanning three batters. Kaylea Bullock made a relief appearance.
The twins, mainstays in the Corydon Central lineup during their four years, are the lone players lost to graduation.
‘They were the pioneers of this run,’ Carver said. ‘Without those girls in the field, there is no way we could get as far as we did. We had some phenomenal play out of a freshman and our junior class really played their roles well. The entire team showed, especially how we came back against Jasper (in the semi-final), that we can deliver from freshmen to seniors.’
The Lady Panthers finished with a 26-5 record, the most wins in program history.
‘History was made with the most wins and going the farthest any Corydon softball team has gone in the tournament,’ Carver said. ‘It’s a phenomenal group. (New Palestine) was just outstanding, but just not in our class.’
New Palestine 311 412 ‘ 12 13 0
Corydon Central 010 000 ‘ 1 3 1
W ‘ M. Jones, L ‘ K. Oskin.
2B ‘ J. Calvert (NP), M. Jones (NP), E. O’Connor (NP); HR ‘ M. Miller (NP), A. Prange (NP).