DODGERS WIN NO. 1 SHOWDOWN
CARLISLE — In three weeks, postseason softball will be on the diamond.
When the Dodgers took the field on Tuesday night, it had the feel and atmosphere of tournament play.
The No. 1 Dodgers (5A) and top-ranked Carlisle (4A) stood toe-to-toe on the diamond, trying to prove which No. 1 team would come out on top.
Both teams were held scoreless through four innings, before the Dodgers (17-3 overall) scored the first run in the fifth and held on for a 2-0 victory over the Wildcats (11-3).
“This game was huge,” said Fort Dodge head coach Andi Adams. “Yes, they are a 4A team. But regardless of class, they are one of the best teams in the state.
“The one-game situation with two highly-rated teams is exactly what we prepare for and what we will face in the postseason. This was a huge win.”
Senior Loghen Schnetzer helped the Dodgers scratch the first run across the board in the fifth.
Schnetzer came up with the bases loaded and two outs. The school’s career home run leader was hit by a pitch, which scored Aeva Alstott. Sophia Klinger started the Dodger threat with a one-out hit.
Sophomore Jalen Adams (11-1) shut down one of the top hitting teams in the state, allowing only three hits on the night. Adams struck out nine batters and walked only two.
“Jalen was just phenomenal,” Adams said. “She was throwing strikes and they just couldn’t (catch up).
“She struggled a little the other night, but corrected her mistakes. TGhey couldn’t hit her.”
Carlisle, who is a perennial power at the state tournament, had a threat in the fourth inning with runners on second and third and one out. Adams struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
“On any given day, Carlisle will beat any team,” Adams said. “They have hitters up and down their lineup and their defense is outstanding. Their third baseman took a shot off her chest from Loghen and fielded it in her arm and made the throw to first.
“Jim (Flaws) plays a tough schedule, just like we do to be ready when the postseason comes around.”
Schnetzer added an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning for the Dodgers, driving in sophomore Haley Wills. The Dodger first baseman, who has been used to being intentional walked, was brought to the plate by an intentional walk.
With runners on the corner and Adams reaching the plate — who is hitting near .600 — the Wildcats choose to face the dangerous Schnetzer with the bases loaded.
“We were so loose from the beginning to the end,” Adams said. “The energy we had was incredible. The players that were in the dugout were invested and everyone had a stake in the game.
“These girls have played together forever and are just so comfortable with each other. I just try to sit back and let them do their thing.”
The Dodgers are back in action on Thursday when they host Des Moines North at Rogers Park.
It will be a single contest. Junior varsity action begins at 5 p.m. with varsity to begin at approximately 7 p.m.
FORT DODGE 2, CARLISLE 0
Fort Dodge 000 010 1 — 2 4 2
Carlisle 000 000 0 — 0 3 1
WP–Jalen Adams (11-1); (7IP, 3HITS, 0ER, 2BB, 9SO): LOB–Fort Dodge 8, Carlisle 6; 2B–C: Kennedy Preston; HBP–FD: Chloe Wertz, Loghen Schnetzer; SACB–FD: Chloe Wertz; C: Kennady Prenosil; SB–C: Delaney Schnathorst.