ON TO THE SEMIS

Dodgers clip Ballard in ranked showdown to advance

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Tristin Doster of Fort Dodge tags Ballard's Abby Husak on Friday at Rogers Park.

The third-ranked Fort Dodge softball team has one of the top offenses in the state, but during Friday’s quarterfinal round of the Fort Dodge Invitational, it was their defensive prowess that pushed them into the semifinals.

The defending tourney champion Dodgers (16-3 overall) defeated ninth-ranked Ballard, 3-2, behind two huge defensive plays. Earlier in the day, Fort Dodge knocked off Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven Ayrshire (5-9), 11-1 in five innings.

“This team has been through a tough schedule so far, which helps in tight games and will pay huge dividends down the road,” said FDSH head coach Andi Adams. “We work on situations and plays and we put them through those situations before they are forced on them.

“It keeps the fire going.”

Fort Dodge led the Bombers (18-6) by a score of 3-2 in the top of the sixth inning. Abby Husak led off with a walk. Catcher Skylar Rigby then drilled a double to the fence in left field.

Husak rounded the bases, but sophomore Chloe Wertz hit freshman Tory Bennett at the cutoff, who threw a perfect strike to sophomore Tristin Doster at home and deny Husak the run.

With Rigby at third on the throw and a strikeout later, the Dodgers intentionally walked Isabella Johnson to bring up Maggie Larson with two outs. Johnson attempted to steal second as Rigby made a dash for home. The Dodgers sniffed out the play and gunned down Rigby at the plate for the final out.

“Our defense made big plays,” Adams said. “Tory’s (on-field) IQ is the same as a college player. She just gets it and knows what to do.

“When I said lets try this play (on the steal), they were all excited to go out there and execute it. This is a young team, but with a lot of experience. They have this willingness to take charge.”

Freshman Jalen Adams (12-1) earned the win in the circle, allowing only five hits and two earned runs. She walked two batters and struck out six.

Junior first baseman Loghen Schnetzer had the big hit of the contest, ripping her third home run of the day. In the two games on Friday, Schnetzer was 4-for-6 with a double, three home runs, five RBI and four runs scored.

“Loghen has been starting to really hammer the ball,” Adams said. “I think Loghen and Tristin just put too much pressure on themselves sometimes. I’ve been telling them not to press so much, because we have hitters one through nine that can do some damage.”

Against the Bombers, freshman Haley Wills recorded two hits. Doster slugged a double and added an RBI, and senior Daphne Alstott also drove in a run.

Wills (3-2) answered the call in the circle against the Titans, allowing three hits and one earned run. She struck out eight and walked zero.

Junior Katelyn Werning had two strikeouts in an inning work.

The Dodgers pounded out 12 hits versus GTRA. Senior Aubrey Davis was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Wills also had two hits.

Doster drove in two runs and scored three times. Adams also had an RBI, extending her hit streak to 12 straight games.

Fort Dodge will face No. 11 Muscatine (15-4) at 3 p.m. on Diamond 1 in a semifinal on Saturday. The other semifinal is between No. 4 Cedar Rapids Kennedy (15-1) and Ankeny (8-7).

FORT DODGE 11, GRAETTINGER-TERRIL 1

GT/RA 010 00 — 1 3 4

Fort Dodge 404 3x — 11 12 0

Hailey Ebel (L, 4IP, 12hits, 9ER, 2BB, 1Ks). Haley Wills (W, 4IP, 3hits, 1ER, 0BB, 8Ks), Katelyn Werning (1IP, 0hits, 0ER, 0BB, 2Ks). LOB–GT/RA 2, Fort Dodge 4. 2B–GTRA: Madison Hough; FD: Loghen Schnetzer. HR–FD: Loghen Schnetzer (2), Tristin Doster. HBP–Tristin Doster. SB–FD: Daphne Alstott (2), Haley Wills (2), Sophia Klinger, Tristin Doster.

FORT DODGE 3, BALLARD 2

Ballard 020 000 0 — 2 5 1

Fort Dodge 210 000 x — 3 7 0

Maggie McGrady (L, 6IP, 7 hits, 3ER, 2BB, 2Ks). Jalen Adams (W, 12-1, 7IP, 5 hits, 2ER, 2BB, 6Ks). LOB–Ballard 3, Fort Dodge 6. 2B–B: Skylar Rigby; FD: Tristin Doster. 3B–B: Isabella Johnson. HR–FD: Loghen Schnetzer. SAC–B: Maggie Larson. SB–B: Isabella Johnson. FD: Haley Wills.

FORT DODGE INVITATIONAL SCORES

First Round

Cedar Rapids Kennedy 5, Bishop Heelan 1

Dowling 10, Winterset 7

Ankeny 10, Sioux City East 7

Waterloo Columbus 10, Harlan 0

Muscatine 15, Atlantic 0

Clear Creak-Amana 7, Central Springs 1

Ballard 6, Newell-Fonda 5

Fort Dodge 11, Graettinger-Terril/RA 1

Quarterfinals

Cedar Rapids Kennedy 13, Dowling 1

Ankeny 9, Waterloo Columbus 8

Muscatine 13, Clear Creek-Amana 0

Fort Dodge 3, Ballard 2

Consolation Round

Winterset 8, Bishop Heelan 2

Harlan 9, Sioux City East 1

Central Springs 9, Atlantic 2

Newell-Fonda 11, Graettinger-Terril/RA 2

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