Wildcats catch up, roll past Raiders

Dave Weatherwax/The Herald
Jasper’s Erin Terwiske prepared to time her jump from first base during the Wildcats’ 4-0 win over Southridge on Tuesday evening in Huntingburg. Class 3A No. 10 Jasper has won five of its last six games. For a gallery of photos, click here.

Herald Sports Writer

HUNTINGBURG — The home dugout and concession stand took a beating Tuesday night at Southridge’s new softball complex.


Jasper’s Nicolette Eckert, Erin Terwiske and Jessie Gudorf all took turns pulling balls way foul. Paige Werner yanked a ball so bad it nearly hit a road roughly 60 yards to the left of home plate.

Foul balls hit the top of the dugout and concession stand and bounced away, as Southridge dodged danger against the rival Wildcats.

The Raiders could avoid the potential pitfalls for only so long.

Eckert finished with a pair of run-scoring doubles and Class 3A No. 10 Jasper produced a pair of RBI groundouts for a 4-0 victory. Southridge (2-3) brought the tying run to the plate in the seventh inning when the Raiders loaded the bases with two outs, but Jasmine Seitz induced a groundout to close the game.

Jasper coach Matt Pryor noted the Wildcats (6-2) had seen considerably faster pitching in the last few days against Tecumseh and Evansville North. It’s not that Southridge’s pitching wasn’t effective — Pryor credited Raider coach Stephanie Fleck for keeping the Cats off-balance by using three pitchers — but the velocity just wasn’t what the Cats were accustomed to seeing.

“We were used to that speed,” Pryor said. “When we’re a little bit slower, we have to sit and wait and let the ball get a little bit deeper on us. We tried to do that but we were still way in front of everything.”

Eckert adjusted first. Jasper’s speedy leadoff hitter blasted a double to deep left-center field in the second, plating Michala Flamion. Eckert then ripped a double down the third-base line in the fourth, scoring pinch-runner Madi Sellers.

Eckert noted she moved up in the box and added Katie Krempp, who’s out with an ankle injury, has been helping her at practice as the Cats go through drills in which they hit old volleyballs.

“We played really well tonight, “Eckert said. “We kept our intensity level up and we continued to talk.”

Gudorf and Werner added RBI groundouts in the second and third innings, respectively.
For Southridge, Shelby Kippenbrock finished with a pair of singles, though the Raiders couldn’t take advantage of three Wildcat errors. That stuck with Fleck, who noted Jasper didn’t significantly outhit her team.

“The girls played well, it was just the fact where we needed to make adjustments at the plate and that’s the only thing that really killed us,” said Fleck, whose team hosts Loogootee tonight.

“We just weren’t able to produce the runs and produce the hits at the right time.”

Keegan Katter (5-2) tossed the first five innings for Jasper, which opens Big Eight Conference play tonight at Washington. Katter struck out five while allowing four hits and only one walk and should be rested for tonight, Pryor said.

He characterized the contest with the Hatchets as “a big night” and wanted to make sure Katter wasn’t worn down. Seitz did fine in relief, striking out two. An error and flare single from Alli Bounds (1-3), who pitched the first two innings for Southridge, loaded the bases in the seventh, though Seitz kept the Raiders guessing enough that Jasper never felt threatened.

“She got better as the game went on and I felt comfortable enough with our defense that Jasmine could come in and shut the rest of the lineup down,” Pryor said. “Jasmine had two, solid innings there. We wanted to give Kat a little break for tomorrow night.

“To have the ability to have a pitcher like Jasmine come in and finish the job is outstanding.”

Contact John Patishnock at jpatishnock@dcherald.com.

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