Dodgers sweep Tigers for first time in 13 years to finish regular season in style
Andi Adams knows she has something special brewing on the softball diamond, and after her team accomplished something Fort Dodge hasn’t done in 13 years on Tuesday, the Dodgers had further solidified their status as one of the best in the state.
For the first time since 2006, third-ranked FDSH (32-6 overall, 13-5 overall) swept No. 2 Valley (27-10, 11-7) by scores of 12-10 and 6-2. It was the Dodgers’ first win of any kind against the powerhouse program 2014.
Adams, who packs Fort Dodge’s slate with ranked teams so the Dodgers can reap the benefits in the postseason, is seeing such a daunting schedule paying dividends with tournament play right around the corner.
“Valley is traditionally tough and they are always one of the top programs in the state, so to earn a sweep over them says a lot about these girls,” said Adams, who now has 656 career victories — including 603 at FDSH. “These girls want the ball in tough situations and they want to be the one to come up with the big hit.
“They play like a family and pick each other up.”
With the triumphs over the Tigers, Fort Dodge finishes in second place by itself in the CIML Iowa Conference behind only top-ranked Waukee (36-3, 18-2).
Fort Dodge out-slugged Valley in the first contest and out-pitched the Tigers in the nightcap, as both as freshmen Jalen Adams and Haley Wills earned victories against a potent Valley lineup.
Wills may not have been a household name before Tuesday, but after holding the Tigers to seven hits and one earned run, The Dodgers’ No. 2 pitcher won’t be overlooked now.
“Haley has earned everything she has gotten,” Adams said. “She wants the ball and wants to win. She had everything working (Tuesday), and they just had a tough time against her.”
The celebration will be short lived with regional play coming up this Saturday.
“We will celebrate for the time being, but you have to move on quickly,” Adams said. “In softball, you have to have a short memory. Literally anything can happen. This is why we have such a hard schedule: so we can see every type of offense and defense.
“We’ve played games against well over 20 ranked teams, and we learn as we go. Is this excatly what we wanted? Yes. But we have to focus on the postseason and use everything we learned.”
Wills (10-4) scattered the seven hits and only allowed three runners past second base. She struck out two batters and walked only one.
Jalen Adams fought through a rough inning in the opener and was able to close the door on the Tigers. Adams (21-2) allowed 11 hits, struck out six and walked only two. The Tigers scored 10 runs, but only four were earned.
Adams worked her way through trouble all evening long. Alex Honnold hit a leadoff homer in the first inning and then Adams set the next seven batters down. Valley scored two runs, then Adams retired the next five.
After a seven-run top of the fifth by the Tigers, Adams only allowed two more baserunners and got seven of the nine batters out.
“Jalen does well under pressure,” Adams said. “She is another player who wants the ball. In the fifth inning when I went out to talk to her, she didn’t want to come out. She settled down and got the outs she needed.
“Our team puts a lot of hard work into this. They truly play for each other.”
One big inning in each contest was the deciding factor for the Dodgers. In the opener, Fort Dodge plated seven in the fourth. The Dodgers then had a six-run third in the nightcap.
Fort Dodge jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the opener with four runs in the bottom of the first, led by a Loghen Schnetzer two-run blast and four hits. In the fourth, Fort Dodge sent 11 batters to the plate and recorded six hits, paced by a Tristin Doster two-run homer.
Daphne Alstott and Schnetzer both had doubles in the frame, giving the Dodgers a commanding 12-3 advantage.
Valley stormed back with a seven-run frame of its own, sending 11 batters to the plate and recording six hits, including five of six at one point getting a hit.
Adams had three hits. The top six FDSH batters in the lineup were a combined 11-for-20.
Tory Bennett, Doster and Schnetzer had two hits a piece. Schnetzer had three RBI, while Alstott and Adams had two each.
Bennett and Martyne Lowrey recorded doubles in the contest.
The Dodgers sent 10 batters to the plate, coming up with five hits and six two-out runs to pull away in the second contest.
Doster had two hits in the contest including a triple. Bennett, Alstott, Adams, Doster, Aubrey Davis and Schnetzer all drove in runs.
Adams has now successfully reached base in all 38 games of the regular season for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers open Class 5A tournament play on Saturday at Rogers Park. Fort Dodge will play the winner of Sioux City West or Sioux City East.
First pitch is slated for 7 p.m.
FORT DODGE 12, VALLEY 10
Valley 102 070 0 — 10 11 1
Fort Dodge 401 700 x — 12 13 3
W–Jalen Adams (7IP, 11hits, 4ER, 2BB, 6SO) L–Haley Gatica (3ªIP, 10 hits, 5ER, 0BB, 3SO); 2B–V: Alex Honnold, Megan Decker, Jessica Olander; FD: Daphne Alstott, Tory Bennett, Loghen Schnetzer, Martyne Lowrey. HR–V: Honnold, Schnetzer, Tristin Doster. SAC–V: Hailey Etzel; FD: Alstott, Aubrey Davis. SB–FD: Bennett, Adams, Malia Lowrey.
FORT DODGE 6, VALLEY 2
Valley 001 010 0 — 2 7 1
Fort Dodge 006 000 0 — 6 6 0
W–Haley Wills (7IP, 7 hits, 2ER, 1BB, 2SO); L–Megan Decker (6IP, 6 hits, 5ER, 0BB, 2SO). 2B–V: Gianna Lara. FD: Tory Bennett, Jalen Adams; 3B–V: Alex Honnold; FD: Tristin Doster. SB–V: Hailey Etzel. FD: Daphne Alstott, Doster.