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No. 1 FDSH bests ADM in ranked clash

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Tory Bennett of Fort Dodge steals second base at Rogers Park earlier this season.

ADEL — The top-ranked (Class 5A) Fort Dodge softball squad felt emotions they hadn’t experienced in almost two full weeks here on Thursday.

Frustration. Anger. Stress. Anxiousness.

The Dodgers fought through all of it, holding on for a 5-3 victory over No. 4 (4A) Adel-ADM to extend their win streak to double digits.

Head coach Andi Adams’ team had coasted through nine consecutive opponents by a 103-6 run differential. That changed last night against the Tigers — Adams knew it would — but Fort Dodge (24-3 overall) didn’t panic and stemmed the tide.

“We got challenged, which was good. It had been a while,” Adams said. “On the road, tough environment, things weren’t going our way (when ADM trimmed a 5-0 deficit to 5-3 in the fourth). But we settled down and reset.

“We just got back to playing Dodger softball — trying to put pressure on the (opposing) defense, aggressively running the bases and not making any mistakes in the field.”

The Dodgers plated three runs right off the bat, then added single scores in both the third and fourth innings. Sophomore all-stater Jalen Adams — who was otherwise her usual dominant self — ran into some trouble in the bottom of the fourth, when pinch hitter Aliya Yanga doubled to the gap with runners on first and second.

Olivia Tollari scored, but the relay throw beat Brooke Hickey by a wide margin at home for what appeared to be an out at the plate. The umpire ruled catcher Tristin Doster hadn’t allowed a clear path to home plate, though, calling Hickey safe by obstruction and awarding Yanga an advancement from third base as well.

“That rattled us a little,” Adams said. “We didn’t agree with what was being called, but it fired Jalen and the team up. This is the kind of situation that you have to find a way to work your way through. Things aren’t always going to go your way, especially when you’re on the road.”

Adams (16-1), who had allowed only five earned runs all season, surrendered three on that one play. She blanked the Tigers (10-4) the rest of the way, though, and finished with 12 strikeouts.

Adams now has 134 Ks on the year in just 87 innings pitched.

Doster finished with three hits and scored twice for FDSH. Adams and Tory Bennett both added two hits and drove in runs.

“We did a lot of good things, and made some mistakes,” Adams said. “Win or lose, games like this make you better. They put your toughness, resilience and concentration to the test.”

The Dodgers return to action on Saturday at Rogers Park against No. 13 (4A) Ballard.

FORT DODGE 5, ADM 3

Fort Dodge 301 100 0 — 5 9 0

ADM 000 300 0 — 3 4 3

WP–Jalen Adams (16-1; 7 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 12 K). LP–Abbie Hlas (7 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K). 2B–FD: Tristin Doster 2; ADM: Brylee Person, Aliya Yanga. SB–FD: Tory Bennett, Maia Davis.

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