Lady Bulldogs sweep weekend double-header, 3-2 over Carmel and 5-2 over 3A No. 1 New Palestine

A USA-365 special report by Mark Smith


CP's Brooke Manhatton (15) checks out the next batter while Carmel's Sommer Edwards (13) sneaks off third base in the CP-Carmel game last Saturday.
(All photos by Mark Smith)
CP's sophomore Kayleigh Klingberg (17) started both games Saturday and reached base three times against Carmel and New Palestine.
CP freshman Brinkley Kita (28) pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings in relief against Carmel allowing just one hit.
Carmel junior Stormy Kotzelnick (22) rounds second base while CP shortstop Anna Holloway (24) and center fielder Mallory McMahon (25) watch her. Kotzelnick was 3-for-4 against Crown Point.
Lowell native Ginger Britton, the former CP and Lowell head varsity coach and a former Lowell outfielder, made her first visit to CP as the head coach of Carmel high school Saturday. Carmel, with just one senior, is 12-7 this season.
CP's Brooke Manhatton (15) was 1-for-3 was error-free at third base in the Crown Point victory over Carmel.
CP's Maggie Ballentine (2) gets set to throw out a runner against New Palestine. Ballentine was 2-for-2 with a walk against the Dragons.
CP pitcher Madi Elish (19) and shortstop Anna Holloway both had RBI singles in CP's four-run sixth inning against New Palestine. Elish may have pitched her best game of the year, holding the top-ranked Dragons to just six hits.
New Palestine senior Emily O'Connor (12) has 12 home runs in 23 games this season. O'Connor, who will play at the University of Indianapolis next season, was batting .538 (43 for 88) after going 3-for-3 at CP Saturday.
CP catcher Zoie Rettig looks for the sign in Saturday's battle against top-ranked Palestine. CP won 5-2. New Pal has not scored less than two runs in any game since a 2-0 loss to Jennings County on April 15, 2017.
CP's Madi Young (13) drove in the go-ahead run against New Palestine Saturday. With the win, CP has won 19 of their last 20 games.
The weather was bad. The temperature was low but spirits were high among CP players as the Bulldogs won twice Saturday afternoon. (All photos by Mark Smith)

Copyright © 2019 and Meyer Multimedia Services, a division of Meyer Broadcasting Corp.  All rights reserved.
Revised: May 19, 2019.

Team (Record) / Inning 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
3A No. 1 New Palestine (20-3) 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 6 1
CROWN POINT (21-4)  0 1 0 0 0 4 - 5 8 2

Saturday, May 11, 2019 - 45 degrees, cloudy with light rain in CROWN POINT, IN
WP – Madi Elish (10-2) CG, 2K, 2 walks
(starting pitcher) Sam Booe (NP) 2K, 1 walks (2 earned runs, 5 2/3 inn.)
LP – Kaylea Bullock (9-2) 1K, 1 walks

New Palestine (20-3)
Jaylin Covert (CF) 1-for-4
Mic Jones (SS) 1-for-4, double
Emily O’Connor (3B) 3-for-3, walk, 2 doubles
Macy Miller (1B) 0-for-4
Tatum Biddle (2B) 0-for-2, HBP
Lexi Campbell (DP) 0-for-2
Emma Tucker (RF) 0-for-2, HBP
Raegan Hiatt (C) 0-for-3
Kendal Calvert (LF) 0-for-3

Caitlyn Phillips (3B) 0-for-4
Anna Hollaway (SS) 1-for-4, RBI
Mallory McMahon (CF) 1-for-3
Maggie Ballentine (2B) 2-for-2, walk
Katie Neal (RF) 0-for-1, 2 sac bunts
Kaleigh Klingberg (1B) 0-for-2, HBP
Madi Elish (P) 1-for-2 walk
Madi Young (DP) 1-for-3, RBI
Grace Frazier (RF) 1-for-3

Team (Record) / Inning 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
CARMEL (12-7) 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 8 1
CROWN POINT (20-4)  0 0 1 1 1 0 - 3 4 0

Saturday, May 11, 2019 - 48 degrees and cloudy in CROWN POINT, IN
WP – Brinkley Kita (4-1) 4K, 1 walk (3.2 inn.)
(starting pitcher) Madi Young (CP) 3K, 0 walks
LP - Sommer Edwards (5-4) CG, 5K, 2 walks

Carmel (11-7)
Sarah Goddard (3B) 0-for-4
Megan Nichols (SS) 1-for-4
Stormy Zotzelnick (2B) 3-for-4, double
Caroline Roop (DP) 1-for-2, stolen base
Halle Robinson (C) 0-for-3
Sommer Edwards (P) 0-for-3, RBI
Ariana Zbobylak (CF) 1-for-3
Audrey Hussein (LF) 1-for-2, RBI
Ella Ohrvall (RF) 1-for-3

Anna Hollaway (SS) 1-for-2, walk
Mallory McMahon (CF) 1-for-2, walk
Maggie Ballentine (2B) 0-for-3
Madi Young (P) 0-for-2
Kaleigh Klingberg (1B) 0-for-2, RBI
Delaney Adams (LF) 0-for-2, stolen base
Faith Bergner (RF) 0-for -1, RBI
Brooke Manhatton (3B) 1-for-3, stolen base
Zoie Rettig (C) 0-for-3

CROWN POINT (05-11-2019) It might not be a perfect choice of words, but…

At the end of a regular season where CP had beaten only the teams they were ‘supposed to beat’, Crown Point (21-4) defeated someone they ‘weren’t supposed to beat’, winning 5-2 Saturday afternoon over two-time defending state Class 3A champion New Palestine in drizzly, 45 degree weather out behind Crown Point high school.

With losses to Lake Central (22-2), Marist (28-2) and Munster (22-5) on their record, CP may have felt they needed to beat someone big and bad.

And there’s no one bigger and ‘badder’ than New Pal, a supremely confident team ranked No. 1 in Class 3A all year,  averaging nine runs a game.

Against them on a typically miserable weather day was CP sophomore pitcher Madi Elish, who allowed 15 base hits in a 9-5 CP loss at New Palestine (in southeast suburban Indianapolis’ Hancock County) last season.

This time, Elish held New Pal to just six base hits, three of them to star hitter Emily O’Connor, in a win that was CP’s first over one of the reigning superpowers of Indiana softball.

“They are a very, very good offensive and defensive team,” Elish said, standing in a light rain after the game. “I didn’t even know if we were going to play (because of the rain) but I just came into it thinking that they were going to remember me from last year and they’re probably thinking I’m not all that good because they really hit me well.”

“I just tried to pitch my own game. Not worry about what happened last year. They got a few hits but, they’re going to get hits.”

Elish, as almost everybody connected to Indiana state softball knows, is the younger sister of former Crown Point (and present University of Texas) star Miranda Elish, a three-time Indiana state player of the year.

I suggested to Madi that I felt a little sensitive about her and her CP sophomore teammate Anna Holloway (the younger sister of 2017 national high school player of the year Alexis Holloway) because of the ‘burden’ they had to carry in softball social circles because their last names.

Maybe ‘burden’ wasn’t the best choice of words, either.

“Me and Miranda, I’ve tried to follow in her path,” Madi said, understanding the intent of the question. “I don't necessarily like it when people just refer to me as Miranda’s sister. I want to be known as Madi. I am Miranda’s sister but I really want to be known as Madi.”

On Saturday, the artist formerly known as Miranda’s sister, who was 14-5 with a 1.70 ERA as a CP freshman last year, improved to 10-2 this season, stopping as good an offensive force as CP is going to see. Top-ranked New Palestine bats .397 as a team with 38 home runs (CP has 10 homers all year) and 211 runs scored in 23 games.

New Pal, which was 30-1 last year and 31-2 in 2017, scored twice in the second inning on a two run single by Jaylin Calvert, who is 36 of 76 (.484) on the season.

Crown Point’s Maggie Ballentine doubled and scored in the second inning after a Katie Neal sacrifice bunt and an error by New Pal shortstop Mic Jones.

It was still 2-1 in the sixth when CP’s Mallory McMahon led off with a single and New Pal coach Ed Marcum changed pitchers, bringing in senior Kaylea Bullock (10-2). Bullock walked Maggie Ballentine and struck out Neal but she hit CP sophomore Kaleigh Klingberg with a pitch, loading the bases.

Bullock threw a wild pitch to allow McMahon to score the tying run and Elish, a left-handed batter, sliced an RBI single to make it 3-2 for CP.

Madi Young followed with an RBI base hit to center and Anna Holloway later ended the scoring with another RBI single to left.

Crown Point topped a much-improved Carmel team 3-2 early Saturday when freshman Brinkley Kita came on in relief and pitched 3-2/3 scoreless innings.

CP coach Pete Iussig said that the 5-foot-9 Kita, whose family moved to CP last year from Illinois, is becoming more than just a relief pitcher.

“She was a relief pitcher the first half of the year,” said Iussig, “and now she’s started three games. She would have started the second game today (against New Pal) but she pitched a little long in the first game.”

“She’s getting better all the time.”

DOG NOTES: The loss at CP for New Palestine was just their 16th loss total in the last six seasons. They were 24-3 in 2016 and 24-4 in 2015 and 24-4 in 2014.

CP’s win over Carmel created the school’s eighth consecutive 20-win season. Not counting 2019, the Bulldogs have won at least 25 games in each of the last seven years. Since the start of the 2012 season, Crown Point is 241-31 in varsity softball.

CP sophomore Madi Elish said that she appreciates the ‘circle of life’ quirk of fate that has her and sophomore shortstop Anna Holloway (whose older sister, Notre Dame pitcher Alexis Holloway was in attendance at Saturday’s New Pal game) both following their older all-state sisters in the same high school class at the same age and on the same team.

“It's great,” she said. “She’ll talk about how her sister did and I’ll say what my sister did. We’ll talk about how both our sisters are doing. It's like ‘Wow,’ Both our sisters are dominant pitchers at a high level.”

Freshman right-hander Brinkley Kita (4-1) struck out four in 3-2/3 innings of CP’s 3-2 win over Carmel early Saturday. Kita had 60 strikeouts in her first 40 innings this year and she will be a factor in the upcoming Lake Central sectional.

Carmel’s coach Ginger Britton, the former CP and Lowell coach, who played in the outfield for Lowell in the late 1990s and early 2000s, is happy at Carmel where her young team has rallied to a 12-7 record this spring.

“We were young,” Britton said. “We had two seniors and one just one junior last year. That was it (among upper classmen). We have a little more confidence that we didn’t have last year. That’s a big thing... believing in themselves. That’s what sophomores on the varsity didn’t have last year.

Britton says her spirits are high living in Carmel, the jewel of highly affluent Hamilton County. “I thought I would hate it,”  Ginger admitted. “I grew up on a farm. I did not want to live in a development. So we bought a house in a strip where there’s only six houses on about two acres. There’s just six of us. We’re right on the Zionsville-Carmel line.

“Zionsville isn’t quite as built up as Carmel and Westfield is still corn fields. We’re five minutes from downtown Zionsville which has an ‘old school’ feel. All the lots are really big and they have trees. It's great for our kids. And the restaurants and stores are all pretty close, too. It's great.”

Lake Central (22-2) got the bye at the Lake Central sectional next week. Crown Point must play a quarterfinal game against Kankakee Valley on Tuesday, May 21 at 6 p.m. With a win, CP would face Munster (22-5) at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 23.

The Class 4A Sectional championship is set for 5 p.m. on Friday, May 24 on the artificial turf at LC.

2019 (4A) Crown Point (24-4)
25-6 (2018), 30-2 (2017) 28-2 (2016), 29-3 (2015) 29-1 (2014)
All DAC games in CAPS

3-27 (W) 10-0 PORTAGE
4-2 (W) 6-4 at CHESTERTON (17-5-1)
4-3 (L) 2-6 at 4A No. 1 LAKE CENTRAL (22-2)
4-4 (L) 0-3 Munster (22-5)
4-8 (L) 2-6 (Chicago) Marist (28-2)
4-9 (W) 20-0 (5 inn.) MICHIGAN CITY
4-10 (W) 15-3 (5 inn.) LaPORTE
4-13 (W) 10-6 at Harrison (15-6)
4-13 (W) 4-2 at Harrison (15-6)

4-16 (W) 12-0 (5 inn.) at VALPARAISO (12-10)
4-17 (W) 12-0 (5 inn.) MERRILLVILLE

Lakeshore (Michigan) Invitational
4-20 (W) 7-2 Edwardsburg, Mich. (16-8)
4-20 (W) 9-1 (Stevensville, Mich.) Lakeshore (21-5)
4-20 (W) 11-1 (6 inn.) Caledonia, Mich. (12-12)

4-23 (W) 13-2 (5 inn.) PORTAGE
4-24 (W) 3-2 CHESTERTON (17-5-1)
4-25 (W) 7-3 at Penn (15-6)
5-4 (W) 6-0 Boone Grove (16-5)
5-4 (W) 8-1 Boone Grove (16-5)
5-6 (L) 0-1 Lake Central (22-2)
5-7 (W) 13-0 (6 inn.) at LaPorte (12-9)
5-8 (W) 11-0 VALPARAISO (12-10)
5-9 (W) 18-0 (5 inn.) at MICHIGAN CITY

5-11 (W) 3-2 Carmel (12-7)
5-11 (W) 5-2 3A No. 1 New Palestine (20-3)

5-13 (W) 10-0 (5-inn.) Highland
5-14 (W) 11-0 (5-inn.) at MERRILLVILLE
5-15 (W) 9-2 Lowell

4A Sectional 1 (at Lake Central)
5-20 (M) quarterfinals – 5 p.m.
5-21 (Tu) quarterfinals CP vs. Kankakee Valley – 6 p.m.
5-22 (W) semifinal CP vs. Munster – 6 p.m.
5-23 championship game – 5 p.m.