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PERFECTION

Fort Dodge junior Porter unscathed in opener of sweep vs. Bobcats

-Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Ellie Doster of Fort Dodge connects for an RBI single against Marshalltown on Thursday at Rogers Park

Andi Adams doesn’t want Fort Dodge to ever let its guard down. She expects her third-ranked (Class 4A) Dodger softball team to show a sense of urgency, regardless of who they line up against on any given night.

FDSH did just that on a breezy evening for softball at Rogers Park Thursday, posting a pair of mercy-rule victories over Marshalltown less than 24 hours after hitting a bump in the road at Southeast Polk.

Scores were 10-0 and 11-1 in favor of the Dodgers, with both contests going five innings.

Adams was pleased with her squad’s offensive approach, as Fort Dodge (11-2 overall, 6-0 in the IAC North) racked up 17 total hits — including six for extra bases.

That was more than enough support for pitchers Lucy Porter and Aubrey Alstott. Porter, a junior, fired a perfect game in the opener with eight strikeouts. Alstott, just an eighth-grader, worked her way out of a jams and tossed a complete game without allowing an earned run.

“I think we found the right spots to be aggressive versus patient for the most part (at the plate),” Adams said. “The idea is to be consistent no matter who we’re facing. I know that’s tough, but you have to show the same mentality night in and night out. Your approach may change and you make adjustments, but if you compete the same way against a team that’s one of the best and team that’s struggling, that’s when you’ve really turned a corner.”

Porter was brilliant, slicing her way through Marshalltown’s lineup without a hitch. The Minnesota State recruit improved to 7-2 on the season and 55-14 in her career.

“I’m very proud of Lucy,” Adams said. “She threw a lot of pitches the night before (132 at Southeast Polk), but just came out and took care of business. That’s the mental toughness and resilience we need from one of our leaders.”

Junior Meah McCaleb hit her fourth triple of the season and scored three times. Freshman Ellie Doster went 2-for-2 with two doubles and a pair of RBI.

Mackenzie McIlrath and Maddie Hoshaw both stole two bases, and Alstott tripled.

It took the Dodgers a while to get going in the second contest. The Bobcats (3-9, 2-4) actually scored first, and it was 1-1 in the third before the floodgates opened.

Senior Macy Brown, freshman Calliegh Zimmermann, McCaleb and McIlrath all drove in two runs. Sophomore Teryn Rippentrop recorded two hits, as did McCaleb and Brown.

Porter tripled.

Alstott (4-0) stranded eight Bobcat runners, including the bases loaded in both the first and third.

“Aubrey didn’t get rattled after giving up a few hits and some shaky defense behind her at times,” Adams said. “She just has to get ahead in the count with more consistency, because at the varsity level, you’ll pay as a pitcher if you’re down 1-0, 2-0, 2-1, 3-1.

“It was great to see our lineup so balanced and a lot of different players contributing. That’s what we want: kids fighting for their playing time. It took a little while to get going, but eventually we took charge.”

Fort Dodge has won 35 consecutive games versus the Bobcats dating back to 2012.

The Dodgers now head to top-ranked (5A) Waukee Northwest (11-1) on Friday for a single varsity tilt at 7 p.m.

“Any given night,” Adams said. “That’s why you play…in softball, you never know. If you play 10 times, you get 10 different scores.

“Northwest is outstanding, obviously. This will be a great test for us.”

FORT DODGE 10, MARSHALLTOWN 0 (5)

Marshalltown 000 00 — 0 0 4

Fort Dodge 330 4x — 10 8 0

WP–Lucy Porter (7-2; 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K). 2B–FD: Ellie Doster 2, Calliegh Zimmermann. 3B–FD: Meah McCaleb, SB–FD: Mackenzie McIlrath 2, Maddie Hoshaw 2, Meah McCaleb, Ava Wessels.

FORT DODGE 11, MARSHALLTOWN 1 (5)

Marshalltown 100 00 — 1 7 2

Fort Dodge 016 22 — 11 9 2

WP–Aubrey Alstott (4-0; 5 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K). 3B–FD: Lucy Porter. SB–FD: Hope Alstott, Meah McCaleb, Teryn Rippentrop.

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