Quintet of Dodgers first team all-CIML Iowa

Alstott, Schnetzer, Adams, Doster, Bennett honored; Davis, Wertz on 2nd squad

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Tory Bennett of Fort Dodge slides into home against Cedar Rapids Kennedy at the state tournament.

The Fort Dodge softball squad recently landed a league-best five players on the Iowa Conference’s first team, in a division of the CIML that included both the Class 5A state champion and runner-up.

Senior Daphne Alstott, junior Loghen Schnetzer, sophomore Tristin Doster, and freshmen Jalen Adams and Tory Bennett all made the top list in the state’s most talented cluster of programs. West Des Moines Valley won the 5A title, Waukee was a finalist, and FDSH advanced to the quarterfinal round before being ousted by the Tigers.

All three squads were ranked in the Top-5 for nearly the entire year. A fourth, Southeast Polk, also spent most of the season in the Top-15.

“We were up against the best on a nightly basis — no question,” Dodger head coach Andi Adams said. “I really think it made us all better and challenged us to the highest levels, even if it may have taken a toll on our records at times.

“We want to be in the title hunt here, just like all these other programs. Our schedule gave us the opportunity to do that, and we’re going to make it even more difficult in the years to come.”

The Dodgers went 35-7 overall — one season removed from going 36-8. Their body of work led to a regional crown after a 3-0 victory over Ankeny and a No. 2 seed in the state tournament.

Alstott hit .393 with 41 runs scored, 34 RBI and 32 stolen bases. The outfielder was also named to the all-state team for a third time in her career.

Schnetzer broke the school record for home runs in a single season with 14. She drove in 49 and batted .364.

“Daphne and Loghen had the kind of seasons you hope for from upperclassmen,” Adams said. “Daph made the switch from the infield to the outfield and was the consummate team player for five years. Loghen took another big step forward and really came on as the season progressed.”

Doster, a first team all-state and all-district choice, slugged 19 doubles, seven homers, six triples and drove in 48 while scoring 43 times. The catcher batted .473.

Adams, also a first team all-state and all-district performer as just a ninth-grader, went 24-3 as a pitcher with a 1.79 earned run average. The third baseman reached base in all but one game at the plate, hitting .488 with 32 RBI.

Bennett, a shortstop, batted .432 with 16 doubles, 33 RBI and 22 steals.

“Tristin, Jalen and Tory all got better, but I still feel like there’s so much more in them and they would agree,” Adams said. “It’s going to be fun for the fans to watch them develop over these next few years. They did a lot of growing and maturing, but they’re still not anywhere near their peak.”

Senior Aubrey Davis and sophomore Chloe Wertz landed on the second team. Davis, a second baseman, batted .385 with 43 runs and 27 RBI. Wertz hit .330 with 25 RBI as a leftfielder.

“Aubrey kept getting better and better, and was a really steady influence for us both at the plate and in the field this year,” Adams said. “Chloe was productive and consistent from the bottom half of our order, which is so important to our offense.”

Sophomore Sophia Klinger and freshman Haley Wills were both honorable mention picks.

“We’ll have eight starters back (in 2020), which is very exciting, but we’re not ready to look ahead yet,” Adams said. “We can’t thank Daph and Aubrey enough for being senior leaders both on and off the field. That responsibility now goes to Loghen and (fellow senior-to-be) Katelyn (Werning), and I know they’ll do a good job. Our other kids will be a year wiser and better, too.

“We had a lot of proud moments, but the state loss to Valley (the Dodgers swept the Tigers during the regular season) is still a fresh wound. It’s another step in the learning and maturation process, though, and it will drive us that much more moving forward.”

Fort Dodge went 13-5 in CIML Iowa Conference play. Waukee was 18-2 and Iowa’s No. 1 team before being ousted by Valley in the finals. The Tigers were 11-7, the Rams went 11-9, Mason City was 4-16, and Marshalltown was 1-19.