The Fort Dodge softball team hasn't been swept by Mason City in 20 years.
After dropping the opener to the Mohawks here Monday, the Dodgers made sure that streak wouldn't come to an end with a 4-2 nightcap victory at Rogers Park.
Junior co-captain Megan Gibson out-dueled Mason City ace Lexy Pederson, giving head coach Andi Adams her 400th career victory at FDSH and the Dodgers (16-16 overall, 5-9 in the CIML Iowa Conference) a split with the Mohawks (18-14, 4-8) on Senior Night.
Mason City prevailed in the opener, 8-5.
Fort Dodge had its 19-year, 64-game unbeaten streak against the Mohawks snapped a year ago, but the Dodgers are still 68-3 against Mason City since 1992 and haven't lost both games of a twinbill to their rivals from the north in those two full decades.
''We didn't necessarily make that the focal point, but you obviously never want to get swept at home in the conference by anyone under any circumstances,'' said Adams, who is now 400-175 in her 12th season at FDSH. ''Megan really wanted the ball and pitched the best game of her career so far. The defense was solid behind her, and our dugout was just phenomenal. We really showed a lot of energy and emotion in the second game, which was good to see because you never know how your team will react to a game-one loss.''
MASON CITY 8, FORT DODGE 5
Mason City 210 201 2 - 8 11 3
Fort Dodge 100 000 4 - 5 9 2
Annika Angell (W, 9-6; 7 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 1 K) and Ana Shurtz; Mallory Kilian (L, 10-7; 7 IP, 11 H, 8 R, 5 ER, 6 BB, 4 K) and Taylor Messerly. LOB-Mason City 12, Fort Dodge 9. 2B-MC: Allison Scott. HR-MC: Brittani Sanchez. SB-FD: Lexi Astor, Jamie Haden. S-FD: Lani Van Zyl; MC: Tricia Notermann, Annika Angell. SF-FD: Mallory Kilian.
FORT DODGE 4, MASON CITY 2
Mason City 200 000 0 - 2 7 2
Fort Dodge 100 210 x - 4 6 1
Lexy Pederson (L, 9-8; 6 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) and Ana Shurtz; Megan Gibson (W, 4-6; 7 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 3 K) and Taylor Messerly. LOB-Fort Dodge 3, Mason City 8. DP-Fort Dodge 1. 2B-FD: Mallory Kilian. MC: Tricia Notermann. S-FD: Erica Grell.
Gibson (4-6) scattered seven hits, blanking the Mohawks for the final six innings of the contest. She worked her way out of a jam in the top of the seventh with the tying run at the plate, getting No. 3 hitter Tricia Notermann to line out to left field with runners on first and second base.
Junior catcher Taylor Messerly delivered a key two-run single to give the Dodgers their first lead of the day at 3-2 in the fourth. Fort Dodge tacked on an insurance score in the fifth on back-to-back bunt hits by speedsters Lexi Astor and Lani Van Zyl, which forced two Mohawk errors and allowed Astor to eventually come home.
Freshman Mallory Kilian had an RBI double in the first inning, accounting for Fort Dodge's lone extra-base hit.
''I thought we were solid offensively for the most part,'' Adams said. ''We had five fly outs literally go to the wall, including two by Jamie Haden. The difference between the win and the loss was more timely hitting and taking advantage of their mistakes.''
Pederson, the daughter of former Dodger all-state baseball player and 1985 graduate Mike Pederson, fell to 9-8 with the loss. Pederson has struck out 150 batters in just 111 innings of work, and has an earned run average of 1.39 this season.
Van Zyl had two hits against Pederson for FDSH.
Trailing 8-1 in the opener heading into the bottom of the seventh, Fort Dodge scored four times and actually had the tying run at the plate with two outs down 8-5. The Dodgers accumulated five hits in the first two frames, but were able to record only a single run and they were stuck there until their final at-bat.
Kilian (10-7) struggled with her control, walking six and hitting a batter.
''We issued seven free passes total and allowed three unearned runs. Those all came back to haunt us when we were trying to rally at the end,'' Adams said. ''Mason City has a strong program now and you just can't expect to get away with mistakes against them. They'll make you pay just like every other team in this league.''
Senior Haley Rustvold reached base four times with a single and three walks. Haden and Messerly notched RBI singles during the seventh-inning comeback attempt.
Kilian and Haden both singled twice for the Dodgers.
Fort Dodge honored seniors Rustvold, Emily Grell and Chelsy Krantz between games yesterday.
The Dodgers are back in action this evening at Ames. First varsity pitch is set for 6:15 p.m.