Jeeps fall to Lions 7-2 in regional gameMay 29, 2019
BY JONATHAN SAXON
DUBOIS — The Northeast Dubois Jeeps fell to the Loogootee Lions 7-2 in the regional final on Tuesday night.
Jeeps coach Dion Terwiske thought the girls played a solid game, but they fell victim to a hard-hitting Lions lineup that had the power to change the game in a couple of bat swings. The Lions swung it with no fear at the plate, and that aggression was the key to creating and cashing in on scoring opportunities
“The long ball is what killed us,” he said. “The number of hits probably aren’t that much different, but when they’re hitting theirs over the fence, that’s going to make a huge difference. They were swinging the bats much freer than we were tonight.”
The Jeeps (14-11-1) cleared the first three Lions batters to start the first inning before getting a jump on the scoreboard. Sophomore catcher Becca Brosmer stood tall and took her base as she was plunked by Lions senior starter Sydney Davis. Then freshman third baseman Hadley Fuhrman used a standing double to drive in Brosmer for a 1-0 Jeeps lead.
But the Lions only needed one swing to make quick work of the deficit. Sophomore designated player Adie Nolley took her turn in the top of the second, leading off the inning with a solo home run that cleared the center field fence and brought the Lions even with the Jeeps.
A second home run came in the top of the third inning, and brought with it a heavier scoring consequence. With two out, Davis hit a single and was replaced with sophomore courtesy runner Maria Chestnut at first base. She was followed by senior catcher Tyanna Graber, who lifted her chosen pitch with equal height and distance to send it out of the park for two runs. A third run came later in the third inning, as senior center fielder Calli Wininger used a single to drive in Nolley for a 4-1 lead.
But the Jeeps weren’t ready to pack it in. Senior starter Camryn Stemle led off the bottom of the third by drawing a walk. Sophomore right fielder Alexus Royer followed with a booming single to right field that cleared enough room to send in Stemle and make it a two-run game. However, that was the closest the Jeeps could draw to the Lions for the rest of the game.
With two outs in the top of the fifth, sophomore shortstop Makenzie VanHoy launched a third Lions satellite over the right field fence, and also scored Graber in the process to extend the lead to 6-2. The straw that broke the camel’s back came in the seventh inning, as Nolley posted her second solo homer, this one sailing over the left field wall, to put an exclamation point on the sentence for the game, 7-2.
Stemle pitched four and two-thirds innings with seven hits for six runs (three earned) and two strikeouts. Fuhrman finished the game in the circle with four hits, one run and a strikeout. Royer finished 3 for 3 with an RBI, and Fuhrman went 2 for 4 with a runner driven in.
Davis pitched four innings for four hits, two runs, three walks and three strikeouts. Sophomore Isabelle Waggner finished the game with six hits and three strikeouts. VanHoy finished 4 for 4 with a home run and two RBIs. Nolley went 2 for 3 with two home runs and a walk. Graber went 2 for 4 with two RBIs.
“I don’t think we hit as well as we should have,” Stemle said. “All in all, I thought we did fine on the infield. I pitched my best, Fuhrman pitched her best. They’ve got good hitters.”
“We came ready to play; we didn’t really bring that with our bats,” added senior second baseman Elizabeth Kunz. “Our defense could have been a little better, but we tried.”
Hearts were heavy and tears were streaming after the game, as the Jeeps had hoped to keep playing softball for just a bit longer. But even with the disappointing loss, the team still has the distinction of winning the second-ever sectional title in school history, and that’s a fact they will hold on to long after the sting of regional fades.
“I’ll remember this season, because we made history,” said senior shortstop Brooklyn Dodd. “Our sectional trophy is going to be in that trophy case. Our names are going to be on that ball we signed. When I go in that gym, that’s what I’m going to see.”
“This year was definitely a breakthrough year,” Stemle added. “We finally, after 13 years, got a sectional win, and it was only the second in Jeep history. Not a whole lot to complain about, but we wished we could have kept playing.”
Terwiske hopes this season can serve as a foundation for a new kind of winning tradition in the Jeeps softball program. The team is graduating only three seniors and, next season when the girls return, he wants them to come out with a mindset and sense of confidence that expects to not only compete, but also to expect success when they take the field.
“I think it’s important for these younger girls to taste a little success and expect that success,” the coach said. “Before, nobody I had been with had ever experienced winning a sectional. So if we can lay that groundwork now, these juniors, sophomores and freshmen understand that it can be done, and we expect to do it. That’s going to help in the future as far as getting everyone to expect to compete for sectionals and play in games like this.”
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