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Dodgers take care of MC

There were sluggish, inconsistent moments in the Fort Dodge softball team’s doubleheader sweep of Mason City on Monday at Rogers Park.

Some of that could be expected. The No. 3 (Class 4A) Dodgers were less than 48 hours removed from the conclusion of a grueling stretch at the FDSH Invitational, where head coach Andi Adams’s squad faced ranked 5A opponents Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Ankeny and Ankeny Centennial in consecutive fashion.

Adams wasn’t in the mood for excuses, though, even after the 4-1 and 11-1 wins over the Riverhawks.

“I know this is a tough stretch, but almost everyone is going through it right now,” Adams said. “You can’t let up, especially mentally. I thought we had some moments (last night) where we did that. The effort was good for the most part, but not as consistent as it needs to be. And the energy was lacking at times.

“There are games where we look really good — like we can beat almost anyone. We’re kind of walking that fine line and trying to get that corner turned. I can see it with this group, but we’re not there yet.”

Meah McCaleb built on her positive weekend momentum with another productive day at the plate for the Dodgers (18-5 overall, 8-2 in the IAC North). The junior third baseman went 2-for-2 in the opener, with a walk, two runs scored and her first home run of the season. McCaleb then added three more hits and three runs in the nightcap for good measure.

McCaleb is now batting .415 on the year.

“Meah is leading the way for us,” Adams said. “She’s really settling into a rhythm and hitting with a tremendous amount of confidence, setting the tone at the top of the order. She’s been huge for us lately especially.”

Junior Lucy Porter and eighth-grader Aubrey Alstott held the Riverhawks (6-12, 4-8) to one run in each contest. Porter (12-4) fired a three-hitter with 10 strikeouts; Alstott (6-1) also had a complete game and lowered her season earned run average to 1.49, not allowing a walk or an earned run.

Fort Dodge turned three double plays behind Alstott.

“When Lucy and Aubrey get ahead in the count, hit their spots and we play solid defense behind them, we’re tough to beat,” Adams said. “For the most part, that happened (on Monday). A few lapses, but nothing that led to anything bigger than it needed to be.”

Freshman Calliegh Zimmermann added two hits in the second contest, with senior Mackenzie McIlrath also singling twice. Alstott helped her own cause with a double and an RBI.

Porter was 2-for-4 with three runs scored and two driven in. Freshman Ellie Doster had two hits as well.

Fort Dodge plated two runs in the first inning, three more in the second and fourth, then ended it early with a pair of runs in the sixth, responding to a relatively lethargic effort at the plate in the opener with 14 hits in game two.

The Dodgers have now defeated Mason City in softball 28 consecutive times dating back to 2017. Adams is 83-6 overall against the Riverhawks during her 24-year FDSH tenure.

The Dodgers head to Ankeny for a single varsity tilt against the seventh-ranked Hawks on Wednesday. Fort Dodge is then at the Linn-Mar/Alburnett Tournament this weekend, opening with Mid-Prairie at 12:45 p.m. in Alburnett on Friday.

FORT DODGE 4, MASON CITY 1

Mason City 000 100 0 — 1 3 2

Fort Dodge 021 010 x — 4 6 0

WP–Lucy Porter (12-4; 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 K); LP–Gwen Fiser (2-5; 6 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K). HR–FD: Meah McCaleb; MC: Adyson Evans.

FORT DODGE 11, MASON CITY 1 (6)

Mason City 000 001 — 1 9 5

Fort Dodge 230 031 2 — 11 14 2

WP–Aubrey Alstott (6-1; 6 IP, 9 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K); LP–Adyson Evans (4-7; 5.1 IP, 14 H, 11 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 3 K). 2B–FD: Aubrey Alstott; MC: Reggi Spotts. SB–FD: Meah McCaleb 2, Teryn Rippentrop, Maddie Hoshaw, Ava Wessels.

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