Cheer comes to life for big-swinging Wildcats

By JOHN PATISHNOCK
Herald Sports Writer

JASPER — The cheer was heard essentially throughout the entire field.

“Hit some! Get some!”

Yes, and yes. The Jasper softball team did both Thursday night, when they romped to a 15-5 victory against county rival Northeast Dubois at the Jasper High School Softball Complex.

Jasper (4-1) yelled out the cheer entering the bottom of the first inning after Northeast Dubois (0-5) took the lead with a Kendra Jacob sacrifice fly. Jacob (0-3) also started for the Jeeps, going 2 2/3 innings.

Starting in the second inning, the Wildcats got right to work on a night when they blasted three home runs and amassed 14 hits.

Erin Terwiske, who slammed a two-run homer in the third, brought in Paige Werner in the second with an RBI grounder and Olivia Burger also scored on the play after the throw scooted behind the catcher.

Jasper then scored eight runs in the third and five in the fourth. Lindsay Baker and Samantha Gerber each smacked run-scoring doubles, Nicolette Eckert added a solo home run, Burger added a run-scoring single and Werner drove in another run with a groundout in the third.

“When one person hits, we all started hitting,” Burger said. “We got in a groove.”

“We just all fed off each other,” added Terwiske, who along with Eckert blasted her first career homer.

They’re both young: Terwiske is a sophomore and Eckert’s just a freshman. They have something else in common: They both took to a hitting drill the Wildcats used this week in which the team hit old volleyballs, weighted tennis balls and punching bags.

“Once we get to a softball, it’s like hitting a tennis ball,” Jasper coach Matt Pryor said.
Pryor added the goal was to have the players swing with more tophand and follow-through. It worked.

“That was our whole strategy going into today’s game, was just hit through the ball,” Pryor said, “and they did that.”

The only downer for Jasper is first baseman Katie Krempp rolled her right ankle in the third inning while playing in the field. She’s expected to miss two to three weeks and Burger will take her place at first base.

Northeast Dubois nearly extended the game, loading the bases with two outs in the fifth. But Jasper’s Jasmine Seitz (1-0) ended the contest with her fifth strikeout.

Earlier in the frame, Allie Lampert smacked an RBI single and Chloe Johnson was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Katie Kluesner and Jacob each collected a run-scoring single in the fourth.

“We’re improving,” Northeast Dubois coach Larry Wineinger said. “We’re still trying to find pieces to the puzzle … We’re hitting the ball, we’re scoring runs but you can’t play defense on home runs. Jasper is a good hitting team, they’re a good ballclub.”

Wineinger, whose team was shutout in its first two games but has scored 13 runs in its last three contests, continued: “Now we’re starting to come around. We’re starting to hit the ball, we’ll start scoring runs, we’ll start winning a few games.”

Terwiske blasted her two-run shot in the third, when the Cats brought 11 batters to the plate. Burger singled ahead of her, then Terwiske unloaded on a 2-1 count.

“It was amazing,” Terwiske said of the homer. “I barely felt it on the bat and I just started running to first and then all of a sudden I saw Olivia in front of me slow down and then people were running out of the dugout. I thought it must have been something good.”

Nine different players scored for Jasper, which scored its most runs since posting 19 against North Knox in last year’s season opener.

Eckert finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored, Beckman went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and Burger finished 3-for-3 with three runs scored. And Werner doubled, stole a base and scored in the second, jumpstarting the Wildcats’ offense.

“Can’t say enough about Nicolette and Paige, they’re solid defensively, they’re quick, they’ve got good fundamentals at the plate, they’re athletes, they just do what they need to do to get the job done,” Pryor said.

“For Nicolette to go yard, that’s just going to give her so much more confidence than what she had before. She knew she had speed but now she’s getting to understand that she’s got some power, too.”
 
Contact John Patishnock at jpatishnock@dcherald.com.




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