Jeeps beat Blackhawks to open sectional play

 

Photos by Traci Westcott/The Herald
Northeast Dubois' Macie Brinkman high-fives coach Eric Smith after getting on base during Monday's Class 1A softball sectional opener in Oakland City. Northeast Dubois defeated Springs Valley 5-2 to advance to tonight's sectional championship game against Wood Memorial, the team that defeated the Jeeps in last year's sectional championship matchup. For more photos from the game, click here.

By JONATHAN SAXON

jsaxon@dcherald.com

OAKLAND CITY — Sometimes in life you have to take what you can get. The Northeast Dubois softball team had one of those games in the batter’s box last night as they opened sectional play against the Springs Valley Blackhawks. They were able to get their bats around, but couldn’t quite seem to get the contact they needed to turn pop-flys in line drives.

But despite the extra air in some of their hits, the Jeeps got what they needed in their six hits in order to defeat the Blackhawks 5-2 in the sectional semifinal at Wood Memorial.

Northeast Dubois head coach Dion Terwiske wished the Jeeps (13-9-1) could have gotten a few more quality hits given how much contact they made during the game, but he commended them for the late hits that produced insurance runs and paved the way to tonight’s championship game.

“We started off there really nice with a triple, but we had too many fly ball outs,” he said. “They came back there and stuck a couple up on the board late that really helped seal the deal.”

The Jeeps got started with a bang as sophomore catcher Becca Brosmer led off the first with a triple. Senior shortstop Brooklyn Dodd followed with a pop-fly which was caught in right field, but the ball had enough air to bring in Brosmer and put the Jeeps out in front 1-0.

Both teams put up matching zeroes in the second and third innings as they combined for three hits going into the bottom of the fourth, which saw the Blackhawks (4-17) launch a counteroffensive attack. It started with base hits from junior shortstop Ellison Burton and senior catcher Aerienr Acuff. Then with two outs senior right fielder Abby Kendall hit a single which drove in courtesy runners Brooklyn Robison and Amber Jones for 2-1 score switch.

But the Jeeps wouldn’t stay down for long. In the top of the fifth inning senior shortstop Brooklyn Dodd hit a double to score freshman center fielder Brinley Royer, and freshman third baseman Hadley Fuhrman hit into a force out play at first but was able to score Brosmer in the process to retake the lead 3-2. The Jeeps put up a couple of insurance runs in the seventh inning to put the game out of reach, and it was once again a Dodd double coupled with a sacrifice hit from Fuhrman that scored Royer and Brosmer respectively.

Northeast Dubois' Brooklyn Dodd bats during Monday's Class 1A softball sectional opener in Oakland City. Dodd drove in two RBIs in the victory. For more photos from the game, click here.

Senior Camryn Stemle pitched seven innings and allowed one hit, two runs, and one walk while striking out five. Brosmer went 2-for-3 while Dodd and Fuhrman each had two RBI.

Goldman allowed six hits for five runs (three earned) and struck out three in seven innings. Kendall finished 1-for-3 with two RBI.

“I think tomorrow we need to get on top of the ball and just hit harder,” said Stemle. “We had a few errors in the field, we need to clean that up too.”

“After we realized that popping it up won’t give us runs, we really focused on getting the ball on the ground,” added Dodd. “I think that’s what won us the game.”

Terwiske said he was harping on the teams hitting throughout the game as they kept getting their bats under the ball and pushed it out on high arcs into the waiting arms of Blackhawks fielders.

The team had a total of ten pop-up outs in the game, and Terwiske wants to cut those down as the Jeeps head into tonight’s sectional championship game against Wood Memorial, a rematch from last season’s final when the Trojans defeated the Jeeps at home.

“We have to put together better at-bats,” he said. “We can’t be giving them fly-ball outs. We've got to get on top of the ball, drive it through the infield, and get the ball out of the air.”




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