1991. That was the last year that the Lady Trojans softball program played in a regional game. 2014 was the first time that New Castle had ever won a regional softball game, defeating Cathedral 6-5 on a walkoff single in the 7th by Harley Walls.
The Lady Trojans made their inaugural appearance at the Center Grove semi-state last Saturday, with the goal of competing against some of the top teams in the state. In the semi-final tilt, the Trojans faced 4A #12 Floyd Central. The Highlanders came out playing small ball, bunting and using their speed on the bases to take the lead 1-0. However, that lead wouldn’t hold, as Alaynie Woollard belted her 18th home run of the season to tie it 1-1. The tie would hold up until the top of the 5th, when McKinley Duvall hit a line drive 3-run home run to put the Lady Trojans in front 4-1, a lead that the Trojans would never surrender.
In the semi-state championship game, New Castle met up with #10 Bloomington South, who had defeated Decatur Central 2-0 to advance to the night game. The first three innings went quickly, as both teams settled into a pitching and defensive battle. In the top of the 4th, Woollard drew her second intentional walk on the night, and advanced to second base on a beautiful bunt by Zoe Curtis. Woollard rounded second and drew a throw from third base that sailed into right-center, allowing the Trojans to take a 1-0 lead. Bloomington South answered with a run of their own in the bottom half, tying the game 1-1. The pitching took over from there, and the game was sent into extra innings. New Castle came up empty in the top of the 8th, and the Panthers responded with a walkoff single in the bottom half to win the game.
The Lady Trojans finished the season 24-7 (3-4), and just one game shy of the state finals in a historic run that was incredible to watch. We wish the graduating seniors the best of luck in their future endeavors!