Stemle's homer seals Jeep victory over Rangers

Photos by Sarah Ann Jump/The Herald
Northeast Dubois’ Brooklyn Dodd and AJ Kirchoff goofed around playing childhood games as Clare Mangin, left, and Makena Everman laughed in the dugout before Tuesday’s softball game in Dubois. The Jeeps defeated Forest Park 5-1 on the team’s senior night. For more photos from the game, click here.


DUBOIS — Leading 3-1 going into the bottom of the fifth inning, the Northeast Dubois softball team was looking to provide starting pitcher Clare Mangin with a little insurance before she took the mound for the final two innings.

After Brooklyn Dodd got a single earlier in the inning, Camryn Stemle came up to the plate with a runner on first and only one out. She waited for Ranger ace Taylor Bayer’s pitch and once it left Bayer’s hands, Stemle knew she had a good one coming to her.

“As soon as she pitched it, I knew. You just have that feeling whenever you’re hitting and you get a good pitch to hit like that,” said Stemle as her two-run home run in the fifth inning helped the Jeeps get past county rival Forest Park 5-1 on the Jeeps’ senior night. “I just knew that it felt good as soon as I saw it coming.”

Northeast Dubois (14-6) started the night off quickly as they put together a big first inning that saw three runs cross home to give the Jeeps an early 3-0 lead.

After Dodd was hit by a pitch and Stemle singled, Mangin came to the plate and hit a screaming two-RBI triple to left field as the Jeeps took a 2-0 lead. Kyndal Green brought in the third run of the inning with her single following a Macie Brinkman walk.

“We always stress getting that early lead,” Northeast Dubois head coach Dion Terwiske said. “If we can score first, we feel that we have a pretty good chance to win the game especially when we’re at home.”

“As coach Dion (Terwiske) says, ‘Whoever scores first, wins the game’ and I agree with him,” Stemle added. “If you score first, it gets the other team down on themselves which makes it so much more important to score first.”

Forest Park (9-12-1) didn’t give up so easily though as they were able to get back a run in the fifth inning to trim Northeast Dubois’ lead to just two runs.

Kylie Giesler started off the inning with a double and then Samantha Jarboe moved her up to third base with a groundout. Sara Helming brought her in with a sacrifice fly to deep left field and the way the Rangers manufactured that run is exactly what head coach Kelly Schroering wants to see.

“That was a perfect manufactured run,” Schroering said. “I think what we need to still do is just get better at playing all seven innings — if we do that, we can come out with some victories. Offensively, I know we only scored one run tonight but I still feel like our offense is at the point where we can compete with anybody.”

Schroering was also happy with Bayer’s performance on the mound for the Rangers. While she did give up six hits including a triple and a home run, the majority of those hits came against some of the Jeeps top hitters.

“We gave up hits to (Camryn) Stemle and (Clare) Mangin and those are two really good hitters,” Schroering said. “Other than those few hits, most of the mistakes were made by ourselves defensively. We’ve made good plays as well but we just need to consistently make all the plays all the time.”

Northeast Dubois’ Clare Mangin safely tagged third base as Forest Park’s Taryn Prechtel attempted to tag her out during Tuesday’s softball game in Dubois. Mangin’s triple in the first inning gave the Jeeps two early runs and helped them get off to a fast start in the victory. Forest Park was able to score a run in the fifth inning after Kylie Giesler hit a double but that would be all for the Rangers. For more photos from the game, click here.

Before Tuesday night’s game, Northeast Dubois honored their three seniors — Mangin, Green and Mackenzie Zehr. All three made a big impact in the Jeeps victory as Mangin pitched a complete game while giving up just two hits, Green drove in a run in the first inning and made a great catch in the outfield to end the sixth inning and Zehr had an excellent catch in left field earlier in the game.

But what made this senior night the most special was the fact that this group of girls has been playing on the same softball field since before kindergarten.

“We grew up playing on this field when we were four years old. I mean, if you look at the scoreboard there’s a sign that says ‘Northeast Dubois Youth Softball’ right under ‘Home of the Lady Jeeps’, Mangin said. “This team has just had so much fun. We’ll goof off before games, sometimes coach likes it and sometimes he doesn’t, but we just have good chemistry from our freshmen all the way up to our seniors. We’ve had great attitude all the way up and down our roster.”

Both Forest Park and Northeast Dubois have two regular season games remaining on their schedule before beginning their hunt for a sectional championship next week in their respective sectionals.

The Rangers are just looking to become more consistent but the fight that they’ve shown week in and week out makes Schroering feel alright with where they’re at right now.

“Tonight our team felt like they didn’t come ready to play and neither did I,” Schroering said. “But I know they have that confidence in them that says, ‘Hey, we can do it – we can come back’ and that’s what makes me feel good about where we are.”

For the Jeeps, the key is to just make a few minor tweaks here and there but overall keep the same energy levels and attitude they’ve had all season into their postseason tourney which will be held in the friendly confines of Dubois next week.

“We’d like to continue to keep runners on the bases and score consistently throughout the game instead of scoring early and then stopping,” Terwiske said. “I’d rather see them score one run each inning but as long as we’re able to keep putting up W’s, that’s all that matters.”

“I think this week will be a great push going into next Monday,” Mangin added. “We’ve been focusing on the little things and hopefully that will lead to us making our best memory yet and win a sectional for Northeast Dubois for the first time in 12 years.”

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