Pats take road victory over Jeeps

Photo by Jimmy Lafakis/The Herald 
Heritage Hills players run toward their dugout after making the final out of the fourth inning during Friday evening’s game against Northeast Dubois in Dubois. The Patriots earned a 7-3 win over the Jeeps.


DUBOIS — Quality at-bats became the biggest boons for Heritage Hills (1-1) in its 7-3 win over Northeast Dubois (0-2) on Friday evening. Patriots head coach Joe Asbury rallied the group after several productive plate appearances in the game’s middle innings. The encouragement worked like a charm, as Heritage Hills never relinquished its lead.

“It doesn’t have to be a line drive up against the fence or over the fence for you to do your job,” Asbury said. “We’re really working on that. In softball, it’s hard to get hit after hit. Sometimes, you can’t control whether it’s a great hit or not. But, you’ve got a quality at-bat. That’s what we’re striving for.”

The Pats staved off several Northeast Dubois threats to gain the early advantage. The Jeeps moved some runners into scoring position in the first two frames, but Heritage Hills kept Northeast Dubois at bay.

“The other thing that we’re trying to do with this young team is really emphasize that every pitch matters in a seven-inning game,” Asbury said. “You’ve got to be mentally in it every inning and every pitch for all seven innings. That’s not easy for anybody.”

Eager to draw first blood, Heritage Hills tacked on two runs in the top of the third inning. The Pats claimed the 2-0 lead on a throwing error after a bunt and a subsequent left-field knock from sophomore Jenna McDowell.

Northeast Dubois senior Becca Brosmer halved the lead in a big way in the bottom of the third inning. Brosmer stayed back and ripped a deep solo shot over the fence in center field. As she rounded the bases, her elated teammates gathered at home plate to celebrate with her.

“You’re looking for any high point you can right now, you know?” Jeeps head coach Dion Terwiske said. “We’re super-young, and we knew this was going to happen. Our older girls are stepping up and playing like we expect them to. You like to see them have some success.”

Heritage Hills created some breathing room with two additional runs in the fourth inning. The Pats stayed aggressive on the bases and capitalized at opportune times.

Northeast Dubois freshman Landy Rasche (4) delivers a pitch during the first inning of Friday evening’s game against Heritage Hills in Dubois. The Jeeps lost, 7-3.

Freshman Rylie Schipp, senior Mallory Garrison and sophomore Emma Day knocked in runs during a fateful fifth frame. Garrison and Day’s at-bats personified productive outs — both Pats brought runs home with hard groundouts.

Schipp and McDowell struck out a combined 12 hitters in seven collective innings of work. Schipp walked just one batter, while McDowell did not allow a walk. The Jeeps tallied two runs in the final inning, but the lead loomed too large.

“We got a little bit of a cushion there,” Asbury said. “Jenna and Rylie really pitch differently, so it’s a nice little combo. We’re trying to help both of them move forward without pitching somebody too much.”

The Jeeps scattered nine hits across the seven-inning contest. Northeast Dubois will play a 5 p.m. game on Monday at Paoli.

“Paoli has always had a quality team the last few years,” Terwiske said. “We always look forward to playing them. We don’t have an easy spot in our lineup for the first few weeks of the season. Everybody we play is quality. We’re really not too worried about our opponent. We’re more worried about ourselves.”

Heritage Hills returns for a 6 p.m. game on Tuesday at Jasper.

“Really, it is two programs trying to get better in early April,” Asbury said. “I know that their coach feels the same way. We’re going to practice on Monday and try to improve on things that happened tonight and last night. We’ll try to continue to get better.”

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