Powerful, efficient Dodgers reach semis behind Adams' no-hitter
In the moment, Jalen Adams had no idea what she had done.
The Fort Dodge junior’s lone focus was on helping her top-seeded Dodgers advance to the Class 5A state semifinals.
The Dodger hurler did just that, crisply taking care of eight-seed Bettendorf by tossing the 59th no-hitter in state tourney history.
Fort Dodge (36-4 overall) pounded out 14 hits — showing off the balance that helped the Dodgers reach this point — as the host school blanked Bettendorf by a final of 7-0.
The Dodgers will now face fourth-seed Waukee (33-10) in the semifinals at Iowa Central Field (Diamond 2) on Wednesday night. First pitch is set for 7:30 p.m.
“Looking at the scoreboard…what you don’t see is what our defense did,” said FDSH head coach Andi Adams. “They do so much for our pitchers and they make it look routine.
“Jalen needed this under her belt and now we will face another team. It doesn’t get any easier in 5A.”
Adams, a future Iowa Hawkeye, was so in the moment of reaching the semis for the second straight season that she expressed surprise when hearing about the final statline.
“I didn’t realize it until after the game,” Adams said of her no-hitter. “I was just concentrating on getting the outs. It’s all because of the defense behind me.
“We are just having a blast playing together.”
Adams (23-1) struck out seven, bringing her season total to 200. She had zero walks. The only Bulldog base runner came in the third inning on an error.
“This was huge for our team to reach the semifinals for the second straight year, (and only the third time ever, joining the 2006 squad)” Adams said. “We came in focused on Bettendorf only, and we were mentally prepared.”
The Bulldogs was only able to hit two balls out of the infield. Breanna Caffrey hit a line drive that senior left fielder Chloe Wertz dove to make the play in the first inning. Wertz made the other outfield putout in the fifth.
Adams retired the first six batters she faced. After Bettendorf’s first base runner, Adams sat down the next 15 Bulldogs in order.
“Jalen is my heart and my soul,” Coach Adams said. “You want your kids to do what they can to reach their dream and shine. She is in her moment. This is special.
“She is on a mission, and she won’t allow anyone to stop her now.”
All nine Dodgers reached base as they methodically pecked away at Bettendorf pitcher Emily Rigdon. Fort Dodge was patient, making Rigdon go deep into the count over and over again.
The Dodgers, who have 29 home runs on the season and 116 extra-base hits, used their speed on the basepaths and three infield singles to put the pressure constantly on Bettendorf.
“We just find ways to score,” Adams said. “We get a feel and then just trust each other. I tell them if they see something, put the pressure on. Everyone just expects us to launch the ball, but this group can and will do whatever it takes.”
The Dodgers scored a run each inning, plating two in the fifth. Adams worked the first at-bat of the game for a walk. Three batters later, future Hawkeye teammate Tristin Doster plated pinch runner Reese Pederson for the first run.
Doster, who is one of four Dodger seniors, is enjoying her final run at Rogers Park.
“I’m having a blast and love playing with this team,” Doster said. “I’m totally pumped for everyone.
“We are executing how we need to and we’re all contributing.”
Senior Sophia Klinger scored in the second on an error. Junior Maia Davis raced home all the way from first on a single from Wertz that was bobbled in the outfield.
Junior Haley Wills crossed the plate on a first-third double steal to make it 4-0.
In the fifth, Davis scored on an RBI single from Klinger, who later crossed the plate on an RBI single from junior Tory Bennett.
Doster scored the final Dodger run on a triple by junior Martyne Lowrey.
Both Doster and Davis were 3-for-4 at the plate. Doster had two screaming singles and a ringing double, as well as a deep flyout to straight away center field.
Davis scored twice. Adams and Bennett both recorded two hits.
“Maia just needs a bobble or hesitation. MNost of the time, she doesn’t even need that,” Adams said. “You can’t coach that.
“Once she is on, she is likely going to score and it gives the defense trouble.”
Davis notched three infield hits, giving her six of that variety in the last two games. Klinger, Davis and Wills added stolen bases.
“When I’m on base, it’s my free space out there,” Davis said. “I’m always trying to think a base ahead.
“This season has been amazing. For me to be playing with this team and not just base running…it’s a great experience playing in front of these incredible fans.”
FORT DODGE 7, BETTENDORF 0
Bettendorf 000 000 0 — 0 0 3
Fort Dodge 111 121 x — 7 14 1
WP–Jalen Adams (23-1), 7 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 SO; LP–Emily Rigdon (9-6), 5 IP, 11 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 2 SO; LOB–Bettendorf 1, Fort Dodge 10; 2B–FD: Tristin Doster; 3B–FD: Martyne Lowrey; SACB–B: Katey Harrison, Brooke Magistrelli; FD: Chloe Wertz, Haley Wills (2); SB–FD: Sophia Klinger, Maia Davis, Haley Wills; RBI–FD: Tory Bennett, Tristin Doster, Matryne Lowrey, Sophia Klinger.