Jeeps fall short to No. 1 ranked Braves



DUBOIS — The Northeast Dubois Jeeps and the Class 2A No. 1 Tecumseh Braves met on the field last evening, and went at it in a back-and-forth affair that proved too great to be contained in seven innings of play. Each team had their shining moment, but Tecumseh was able to come away with one last big play as a late-game homer lifted the Braves over the Jeeps, 5-4, in eight innings.

Northeast Dubois head coach Dion Terwiske wanted to see the Jeeps (6-4-1) bounce back after their 13-3 loss to the Barr-Reeve Vikings on Tuesday night. He admitted it hurt to see the team lose such a close game, but Terwiske was encouraged by how the players fought and scraped with the Braves (12-2) until the end.

“We played really well,” he said. “After last night, we sat down, had a little talk and we responded. That’s what was most important for these girls, to come back and play a good game against a quality opponent.”

After both teams went scoreless in the opening inning, the Jeeps jumped out on the Braves in the bottom of the second. With the bases loaded and two outs against the Jeeps, freshman center fielder Brinley Royer hit a single out towards right field that had enough juice to score junior first basemen Macie Brinkman and sophomore designated player Alexus Royer. However There was a bit on controversy on the field as Braves coach Gordon Wood protested to the umps that freshman right fielder Kaybree Oxley caught Royer’s pop up, despite it being ruled a drop. But his appeal went unheard and a 2-0 Jeeps lead was recorded.

But Tecumseh would even the odds in the fourth. First came back-to-back hits that allowed junior center fielder Camryn Boylls and sophomore shortstop Reagan Hight to load up first and second base. Then junior third baseman Leah Beach clubbed a single to bring in Boylls. Following a double play in the infield, senior designated player Abbey Patterson hit for a double that brought in Hight and tied the game at 2-2.

The Jeeps would not let those two runs go unanswered. With senior shortstop Brooklyn Dodd and starting pitcher Camryn Stemle at the corners, freshman third baseman Hadley Fuhrman connected for a double out to center field that drove in both her teammates and put the Jeeps ahead 4-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Still, the Braves kept chipping away at the game. They managed to get a third run in the top of the sixth inning thanks to a fielding error at shortstop that allowed junior courtesy runner Savannah McGee to score. The Braves tied the game once again at the top of the seventh when freshman left fielder Kinsly Heichelbech singled and brought in freshman starter Ashtyn Green. The Jeeps were able to load the bases and threatened to end the ball game in the bottom of the inning, but the game went into extra innings after a strikeout from senior second baseman Elizabeth Kunz.

The Braves were finally able to seize the lead for good in the top of the eighth after Oxley clipped a homer out past the center field fence for a one-out, solo trot. The Jeeps ended the game going 1-2-3 at the plate.

Stemle pitched a complete game and finished with 11 hits, five runs (four earned), one walk and two strikeouts. Fuhrman and Royer each had two RBI.

Green pitched six innings and finished with seven hits, four earned runs, one walk, and a strikeout. Sophomore Abby Teddleton pitched two innings for three walks and a strikeout. Oxley went 1-for-4 with the home run, while Heichelbech, Beach, and Patterson each drove in a run.

The Jeeps have dropped their last two games, but had won four straight before playing Barr-Reeve. They still believe they have a team capable of playing with anybody on a given day, but they must rally around their pride and belief in order to right the ship and keep the losses from piling up.

“Be confident and never get down on yourself,” said Fuhrman when talking about what the team will focus on. “Your teammates will always have your back and be there to support you.”

“We put it on our shoulders,” added Royer. “We just need to forget about it, practice harder, and focus on the next game.”

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