Aggressive baserunning and timely hitting helped the Fort Dodge softball team to a split in its own invitational Friday at Rogers Sports Complex.
The Dodgers (9-11 overall) crushed Sioux City East by a 10-0 count in their five inning opener, before suffering a hard-fought 2-0 setback to third-ranked (Class 5A) and reigning 4A state runner-up Ankeny in game two, which was called after six innings due to a tournament time limit.
"The first game is exactly what we do," FDSH head coach Andi Adams said. "We put (the ball) into play and were very aggressive on the bases. It was nice to see so many people step up for us (yesterday)."
Lexi Astor, Emily Grell, Mallory Kilian, Madi Bodholdt, Taylor Messerly and Chelsy Krantz all collected a pair of hits in the first contest for the Dodgers, while Messerly tallied four RBI and McKinna Teske and Bodholdt each scored twice.
Fort Dodge, which banged out 13 hits and swiped four bases in the game, broke through with a six-spot in the third frame, sending 11 batters to the plate, and was never seriously threatened by the Black Raiders (9-13). Lani Van Zyl also brought home Astor with a walkoff single to left.
Earning the win in the circle was Kilian (4-5), who yielded only two hits over four innings. Kilian didn't walk a batter and fanned five.
FORT DODGE 10, SIOUX CITY EAST 0 (5 Inn.)
Sioux City East 000 00-0 3 5
Fort Dodge 006 31-10 13 1
Mallory Kilian (W, 4-4; 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K), Megan Gibson (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K) and Taylor Messerly; Rylie Zyzda (L; 2 2/3, 8 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 0 K), Allison Lester (2 1/3 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K) and Sarah Sponder.
2B-FD: Kilian, Messerly. SB-FD: Maddie Egli, Lexi Astor (2), Megan Gibson. CS-FD: Astor, Chelsy Krantz. LOB-SCE: 7; FD: 6
ANKENY 2, FORT DODGE 0 (6 Inn.)
Ankeny 010 100-2 6 0
Fort Dodge 000 000-0 2 0
Shayla Starkenburg (W; 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 13 K) and Chloe Stinman; Kilian (L, 4-5; 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 0 K) and Messerly.
2B-A: Stinman. SB-FD: Lani Van Zyl. CS-A: Olivia Parker. LOB-A: 9; FD: 5.
FORT DODGE INVITE SCOREBOARD
(At Rogers Park)
Clear Creek-Amana 5, BCLUW?0
Harlan 5, Newell-Fonda 2
North Union 5, Webster City 3
Dowling 12, Sioux City North 0
Winterset 6, St. Edmond 0
Emmetsburg 4, Colfax-Mingo 0
Fort Dodge 10, Sioux City East 0
Ankeny 16, Atlantic 2
Clear Creek-Amana 11, Harlan 0
Dowling 7, North Union 1
Winterset 8, Emmetsburg 4
Ankeny 2, Fort Dodge 0
Newell-Fonda 5, BCLUW?4
Sioux City North 6, Webster City 2
St. Edmond 10, Colfax-Mingo 5
Atlantic 9, Sioux City East 4
Diamond 1, 9 a.m.: Newell-Fonda vs. Sioux City North
Diamond 2, 9 a.m.: BCLUW vs. Webster City
Dodger Diamond, 9 a.m.: Colfax-Mingo vs. Sioux City East
Diamond 1, 11 a.m.: Emmetsburg vs. Fort Dodge
Diamond 2, 11 a.m.: Harlan vs. North Union
Dodger Diamond, 11 a.m.: St. Edmond vs. Atlantic
Diamond 1, 3 p.m.: Winterset vs. Atlantic
Diamond 2, 3 p.m.: Clear Creek-Amana vs. West Des Moines Dowling
Megan Gibson, a junior, notched the last three outs in relief.
"Mallory's gaining in confidence," Adams said. "I thought she did an excellent job of pitching (Friday), especially holding one of the top lineups in the state at bay (Kilian also limited Ankeny to just six hits in the finale)."
With light rain falling throughout the nightcap, the Dodgers managed just two hits against University of Iowa recruit Shayla Starkenburg. Messerly, a catcher and No. 6 hitter, reached on an infield single with two outs in the bottom of the second. Kilian later singled to left with two outs in the sixth.
On two occasions, Fort Dodge appeared poised to foil Starkenburg's shutout bid, before stranding runners at second and third base in both the fourth and sixth innings. Despite falling short, the Dodgers never committed an error and threw out another potential Ankeny score at the plate on a wild pitch in the fourth.
"You just can't have so many strikeouts looking against a senior pitcher that's going to attack like Starkenburg (six of the 13 Dodger strikeouts came looking)," said Adams.
Cathlin Bingham, who went 2-for-4 in the contest, drove in both scores for the Hawkettes (17-2) on a bloop RBI single in the top of the second and a ground out in the fourth.
Ankeny's only two losses this season have come against then-No. 3 (5A) West Des Moines Valley and West Des Moines Dowling.
"I love playing teams like Ankeny, and I love this tournament," Adams said. "Hopefully, we're starting to turn the corner now and can learn from games like this."
Fort Dodge will battle ninth-ranked (2A) Emmetsburg (16-5) here today at 11 a.m. on Diamond 1.