June 12, 2021
Pioneer’s Big Sixth Inning Yields State Title, Girls “Triple Crown”
Pioneer’s return as state champions made history after a 4-2 win over Sullivan in the Class 2A state championship game.
The Panthers of coach Gabrielle Thomas scored three runs in the top of the sixth to pull the game out, reclaiming a title it won in 2018. Pioneer finished as runner-up in 2019.
The win also gives Pioneer an historic “triple crown,” as the school won the Class A volleyball title in the fall and the Class A girls basketball title in the winter. No school has ever accomplished that feat in girls athletics.
Top-ranked Pioneer took a 1-0 lead in the third thanks to an RBI double by Crystalbelle Blickenstaff.
Sullivan (28-5) responded in the third inning, taking advantage of two walks and two doubles to score twice and take a 2-1 lead.
Despite a few nice opportunities for Sullivan, it stayed that way until the sixth when Pioneer pinch-hitter Emma Novaski reached on a two-out error and later scored on Blickenstaff’s second RBI double of the contest.
Pioneer pitcher Hailey Gotshall recorded the final six outs to clinch the title for the Panthers, who finish 35-2 and completed the season on a 23-game winning streak.
Jocey Wible had two hits and Kendal Edmondson had two RBI for coach Lela Earley’s Golden Arrows.
Pioneer’s Hailey Gotshall wins Class 2A Mental Attitude Award
Members of the IHSAA Executive Committee announced Hailey Gotshall of Pioneer Junior Senior High School as the winner of this year’s Mental Attitude Award in Class 2A Softball.
The award is annually presented to a senior participant in the state finals who best demonstrates mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability and is nominated by her principal and coach.
Gotshall graduated with a 4.1 GPA for her high school career. She has been a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council, Sunshine Society, Art Club, Pep Club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
In addition to this year, she was a member of the 2018 state title team and 2019 state runner-up squad. Hailey earned four varsity letters in girls golf and also served as team manager for the girls basketball team that won the state championship in February.
Hailey is the daughter of Richard and Traci Gotshall of Lucerne, IN and plans to double major in biology and criminal justice at the University of Southern Indiana while playing softball for the Screaming Eagles.
Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance presented a $1,000 scholarship to Pioneer Junior Senior High School in the name of Hailey Gotshall.