Sectional run comes to an end for the JeepsMay 24, 2018
By HENDRIX MAGLEY
DUBOIS — The final out had already taken place almost 30 minutes ago but the Northeast Dubois softball team was still huddled around each other on the field that they’ve spent their entire lives playing on. For Kyndal Green, Clare Mangin and Mackenzie Zehr it was the final time they’d suit up in their Jeep uniforms on the diamond that got them hooked on the game of softball.
The ending felt all too sudden for the Jeeps. After seeing Tecumseh move from Class 1A up to Class 2A due to the success factor, Northeast Dubois started to emerge as a sectional favorite and after a 23-0 win over Cannelton in the semifinal things were looking up. But on Wednesday night, the Jeeps just didn’t have much of an answer for Wood Memorial pitcher Kenzie Tooley and the hits didn’t come at opportune times like they had in the past as the Trojans defeated the Jeeps 7-2 in the sectional championship in Dubois.
“I can’t say enough thank you’s. This place has been very special to me and to have the entire community out here tonight was incredible,” Mangin said. “I’m sorry (to the fans) that we couldn’t deliver in the game we wanted to but hopefully next year they’ll be able to get it done.”
Northeast Dubois head coach Dion Terwiske has preached many times throughout the season about how important it is to be the team that scores the first runs of the ball game and on Wednesday night, Wood Memorial took advantage of that philosophy.
Freshman first baseman Peyton Shoultz and Tooley led off the inning with a single and a double respectively and then junior third baseman Chloe Mowery drove in Shoultz with an RBI single to make it a 1-0 Trojan lead. Sophomore Khloye Strickland’s RBI groundout later in the inning would score Tooley to make it a 2-0 lead at the end of the inning. Wood Memorial would add three more runs in the fourth inning courtesy of an RBI triple from Mowery, an RBI single from Strickland and an RBI groundout from senior center fielder Emma Reel.
“We’ve stressed it all year that we need to score first because that dictates games and tonight it really dictated this game,” Terwiske said. “We didn’t go out and take advantage of what we had to offer and (Wood Memorial) was the better team tonight, that’s all there was to it. They put the pressure on us instead of us putting the pressure on them.”
The Jeeps first sign of life came in the fourth inning when Brooklyn Dodd kicked off the inning with a single and then Zehr followed it up with a bunt single. The Jeeps would load the bases after Mangin’s walk with one out but Tooley struck out Becca Brosmer and Macie Brinkman to end the inning and leave the Jeeps still scoreless.
Northeast Dubois (15-9) would get their first run of the game in the fifth inning as Zehr’s RBI single would bring home Elizabeth Kunz who reached after being hit by a pitch with two outs. The Jeeps would once again leave two runners stranded on base however as Camryn Stemle’s popout ended the inning for Northeast Dubois.
Wood Memorial added two more runs in the sixth inning to make it 7-1 as two runs came home to score on a throwing error as Leeann Melton was heading to second for a double. The Jeeps had another attempted rally in the sixth inning as Mangin kicked things off with an RBI ground rule double and was later brought home by an RBI single from Green but the Jeeps once again left a runner stranded. In their last chance in the bottom of the seventh, Zehr reached base on an error with two outs but Northeast Dubois was unable to move her any further than first base as the season commenced quicker than many around Dubois thought it would.
“We weren’t able to score until the fifth inning and at that point we just couldn’t come back mentally more than physically,” Terwiske said. “We started giving up at bats and we had some late game errors that were just pressure errors because we just started pressing. We were able to get some runners on and get some girls up to third base but we just didn’t get the timely hitting when we needed it.”
For the Jeep senior trio of Green, Mangin and Zehr all three of them were very appreciative of the lessons they’ve learned from being members of the Northeast Dubois softball team for the past four years — lessons that will help them not only in future potential sports endeavors but will guide them through life in general.
“Attitude is everything,” Zehr said. “You can’t do anything with a bad attitude, everything has to be positive because your mindset is what controls everything.”
Green added, “You have to make sure you’re always able to pick everyone up. It’s important to make sure you’re always there for everyone that’s important to you and that helps to make your life truly blessed.”
Terwiske got a little emotional talking about how much the three seniors have meant to the Jeep softball program and how they helped him when he took over as the Northeast Dubois head softball coach in 2015.
While the senior group will be missed heavily, Northeast Dubois has a plethora of returning starters that will be back next season to try and bring a sectional championship trophy back to Dubois for the first time since 2006. Dodd, Kunz and Stemle will lead next year’s senior class while underclassmen such as Brosmer, Brinkman and Courtney Weisheit still have several more years left tin the Jeep program.
The Jeep seniors are hoping that they can leave some wisdom to their younger teammates as they look to carry on the tradition of making Northeast Dubois a successful softball program.
“You have to be willing to try anything,” Zehr said. “From bunting to trying different types of hits, you have to be willing to do whatever it takes to get on base and help your teammates.
“Softball has taught me about just preserving. Even when things are bad, it’s important to just keep a good attitude all the way through because the past is in the past,” Mangin said. “Something my dad always taught me about softball that’s stuck with me is that even the best hitters hit .300 so it’s an obvious and true testament to how humble you have to be and how hard you have to work so I hope the younger players can continue to learn that.”
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