Jeeps hope to defend sectional titleMarch 26, 2020
By COREY STOLZENBACH
DUBOIS — This year brings a lot of uncertainty to local softball teams as they anxiously await a return to school following the COVID-19 pandemic. If and when they are able to play, they're hoping last year's successes will carry over for them this year.
Four of the five local teams won a sectional championship in 2019, and that includes Northeast Dubois. The Jeeps dealt with the injury bug last year, but got players back just in time to turn it up a notch at the plate when the sectional rolled around. They held off Wood Memorial to claim the sectional hardware, but fell to Loogootee in the regional championship, finishing 14-11-1.
Much their season has already been mortgaged off due to this postponement. Northeast Dubois was originally supposed to open the season in March. That will not be possible as the Jeeps are scheduled to be back in school on May 16.
The team cannot practice, but have been asked to do some throwing and keep themselves in shape while the season has been delayed.
"We were kind of building towards getting ready to go, and then you get this letdown," Jeeps coach Dion Terwiske said.
If they can play, Terwiske is optimistic about what 2020 could bring Northeast Dubois.
"There's no reason why we can't be just as successful as we was last year," he said.
The Jeeps will be returning some Blue Chip All-Conference players from last year in sophomore Hadley Fuhrman and junior Becca Brosmer. Brosmer posted a .423 batting average in 2019. Fuhrman batted .506, launched three home runs and led the team with 29 RBIs. Terwiske expects that the rest of the team will look up to them, both offensively and defensively.
They also graduated some all-conference pieces from last year, too. Shortstop Brooklyn Dodd sported a .413 batting average, while Camryn Stemle's was .433. Stemle went 7-4 in the circle, posted a 3.24 ERA and recorded 54 strikeouts. Northeast Dubois lost another player to graduation, second baseman Elizabeth Kunz.
The Jeeps would have to find a new pitcher and a new middle infield if they play this season. Terwiske had a hard time naming names as potential candidates to fill those spots, because even with the team practicing for a week, it was wet and rainy, and they only saw the field once. He thought they looked well in the cages in that first week.
"As far as what we're looking at hitting-wise, I think we'll be alright there filling in our offensive spots," he said. "It's just the defense when you lose two middle infielders like that. Obviously, that kind of rearranges your team. You'll be pulling people from other places and things like that. That's kind of our biggest question mark right now is to figure where to get those people. We need to get on the field to do that."
Fuhrman brought it with her bat last year, but she also got innings in the circle, posting a 4.06 ERA. Terwiske anticipates the Jeeps would pitch multiple players in 2020, but Fuhrman will be depended upon given her prior experience.
Senior Courtney Weisheit got some reps late last year. Terwiske also mentioned sophomore Hailey Carey and freshman Rhylan Kalb as names who have done some throwing. Whomever shows the most consistency will be key to getting innings in games.
He thinks his players will be excited to come back. He knows they were disappointed after the March 13 team meeting. The coach believes the Jeeps should have high energy when things resume. Terwiske views this adversity as a test of character for his players. He knows people will be ready to go and win games whenever softball can resume.
"We've got the girls to be successful if they come back and really want to get after it, which I'm expecting they will be after this layoff," Terwiske said.
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