No. 3 Dodgers sweep Mason City
The Fort Dodge softball team’s postseason dress rehearsal time has arrived.
Tuesday’s CIML Iowa Conference showdown with second-ranked West Des Moines Valley won’t have championship implications, but Andi Adams is still anxious to see how her No. 3 Dodgers will react to the challenge at Rogers Park with regional action waiting on the doorstep.
Fort Dodge (30-6 overall, 11-5 in the league) thumped Mason City twice on Monday as a warm-up for the doubleheader with the Tigers (27-8, 11-5), winning 9-0 and 14-4.
The Dodgers have now taken six consecutive games and 12 of 13 heading into the twinbill with Valley, which dropped a pair to Southeast Polk on Monday and slipped into a second-place tie with Adams’ squad behind top-rated Waukee (34-3, 16-2) in the elite CIML Iowa race.
“I know (the outcome) won’t mean anything necessarily other than having bragging rights between (the long-time rivals), but we’ve both been waiting a long time to play,” Adams said. “We’ve had two rainouts, so it’s really strange to be going against a program like Valley (in the conference) for the first time a few days before (the regional tournament) starts.
“It’s a chance to see we are with the postseason right around the corner. We’ve been playing well these last few weeks, but Valley is always the ultimate (5A) litmus test.”
Fort Dodge didn’t show any signs of looking ahead against the Mohawks (16-21, 4-14), with a balanced offensive attack led by both the top and bottom of its lineup.
Fort Dodge didn’t show any signs of looking ahead against the Mohawks (16-21, 4-14), sporting a balanced offensive attack led by both the top and bottom of its lineup. Freshman lead-off hitter Tory Bennett went 3-for-3 with a triple, two runs scored, two steals and three RBI in the opener, while classmate Martyne Lowrey was 2-for-3 with two runs, two RBI and a stolen base.
Freshman Jalen Adams went 2-for-4 with two driven in at the plate and also tossed four near-perfect innings, walking one and striking out two without surrendering a hit. Junior Katelyn Werning tossed the final three frames for the save, allowing a hit and no runs.
“It’s great to get that kind of production from both the top and bottom of the lineup,” Adams said. “Tory had a big night, and Martyne has just been huge for us lately.
“Jalen and Katelyn both did a nice job. Mason City has some strong hitters through the middle of their lineup, but they kept them in check.”
The Dodger bats were even more of a factor in the nightcap, as senior Aubrey Davis went 3-for-3 with three RBI. Sophomore Tristin Doster was 2-for-3 with three runs and two driven in.
Bennett, Adams and Chloe Wertz all contributed two hits. Lowrey was 1-for-2 with two runs and an RBI. Adams and Daphne Alstott scored twice.
“Aubrey was just huge for us,” Adams said. “We really put the pressure on them in that third inning especially (Fort Dodge scored eight times). And Tory, Aubrey, Sophia (Klinger), Jalen and Martyne all made some big plays for us defensively as well.”
Freshman Haley Wills allowed two unearned runs in her five innings of work. She didn’t walk a batter and struck out two.
The Dodgers and Valley meet on Diamond 1 at Rogers Park, with first pitch set for 5 p.m.
“We’ve had a lot of fun games and memorable moments through the years,” Adams said. “We have so much respect for Coach (Tom) Bakey and what his program stands for; they have been the gold standard in Iowa since I got here.
“It may not impact anything in the grand scheme of things, but I guarantee it’s going to be very competitive. We both want to win. It’s going to come down to execution and who wants it more.”