Dodger battery 1st team all-state

FDSH pitcher Adams, catcher Doster on elite softball list; Alstott makes 2nd squad

Messenger photo by Eric Pratt Jalen Adams pitches for Fort Dodge at Rogers Park during the regular season.

The Fort Dodge battery of Jalen Adams and Tristin Doster were given the highest individual compliment by the Iowa Girls Coaches Association this week, as both landed on Class 5A’s first team all-state softball list.

Dodger head coach Andi Adams said the players were appreciative of the recognition, especially as just a freshman and sophomore, respectively.

“But honestly, it pales in comparison to what they want to accomplish together as a program,” Adams said. “They would both trade it all in for a championship.”

For now, these honors will have to do. Adams — a ninth-grade pitcher — and Doster — a 10th-grade catcher — were two of the 20 student-athletes to make the first team, and two of only six to achieve such a status as underclassmen.

The Dodgers had a very successful campaign, going 35-7 overall and reaching the state tournament for the fourth time in five seasons. As a No. 2 seed in the 5A quarterfinals, though, they were upended by eventual champion West Des Moines Valley.

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Tristin Doster of Fort Dodge connects for a single during the regular season at Rogers Park.

“It’s still fresh in our minds, and the girls are already planning ahead,” Adams said. “When I find out (about the all-state squads), I always make sure to call the players and let them know before they hear it from someone else. When I told both Jalen and Tristin, I could tell it meant a lot to them, but their thoughts immediately shifted to the team.

“They know that the more successful we are together, the awards and everything else will follow. They’d rather have that be the case than have to settle for the individual honors as (the highlight of) the postseason.”

Adams, the daughter of the Dodgers’ head coach, went 24-3 with a 1.79 earned run average and 164 strikeouts in 168.3 innings pitched. She also reached base in all but one game as a hitter — against Valley at state — and batted .488 with a .549 OBP.

Adams is the first FDSH freshman softball player to obtain first-team status since Morgan Paulson in 2002. She was a third-teamer as an eighth-grader in 2018.

Doster had a breakout year, with a .473 average, 7 home runs, 48 RBI, 19 doubles, six triples and 10 stolen bases. She had a slugging percentage of .870.

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Daphne Alstott of Fort Dodge steals second as Humoldt's Jori Hajek waits for the throw.

“I’m obviously very proud of both of them,” Adams said. “Even though Jalen is my daughter and I’m very hard on her, she wants this and does so much on her own. Same for TK (Doster). They were working on stuff four times a week (in the offseason). As a pitcher and a catcher especially, you have to put in so much extra if you want to reach (this level).”

FDSH senior Daphne Alstott made the all-state squad for a third time, earning second-team status. Alstott hit .393 with 41 runs scored, 34 RBI and 32 stolen bases. She graduates as the program’s career leader in steals.

“Daph was an all-stater as both an infielder (in 2016 and ’18) and an outfielder (this season),” Adams said. “Not many people can say or do that. Tieryn (Potratz) is the only other one we’ve had do that here (in Adams’ 18 years), and she’s one of my favorite players ever.

“I just can’t say enough about what Daph has meant to us these past five seasons.”

Though Adams was thankful for having a trio of Dodgers on the all-state charts, she was also disappointed for freshman shortstop Tory Bennett, who was left off despite hitting .439 with 65 hits, 43 runs scored, 33 RBI, 16 doubles and 22 steals. Junior first baseman Loghen Schnetzer also set a program record with 14 home runs, batting .364 and driving in 49, but she didn’t make any of the three 5A teams, either.

“Like the state loss, this will just fuel us,” Adams said. “Again, the recognition and everything else comes when you win it first. So for Tory, Loghen and the others, this will drive them more to prove a point. TK (Doster) wasn’t on the all-state team at all last year. She used that as motivation.

“Any high school athlete can do the required stuff and put in the necessary time in the weight room or preparing for the season. The question becomes, are you willing to put in the extra effort on your own? To go above and beyond? That’s what will ultimately define us and, hopefully, separate us.”