Dodgers sweep Marshalltown again

Fort Dodge softball coach Andi Adams got to see a lot of different things out of her team in last night’s CIC Northern Division doubleheader with Marshalltown at Rogers Park.

She watched her squad come from behind in one game. She then watched her ballclub hang on to a slim lead in the second contest.

Adams also observed how her Dodgers would bounce back from an emotional loss the night before.

In the end, she got to celebrate a pair of wins as the Dodgers (21-10 overall) beat Marshalltown, 6-4 and 5-4, to stay in first place in the division.

“Now is the time of year when anyone can beat anyone and we are seeing that in the scores,” said Adams, whose squad was coming off a pair of losses to No. 8 Ankeny on Wednesday. “I am proud of the way the girls came back and responded. Our pitchers did a nice job and the top of our order did a great job of setting the table.”

One thing that did frustrate Adams was the 17 combined runners FDSH stranded on the bases in the twinbill. That led to her team running 17 foul poles after the game.

Marshalltown (11-18) was coming off an emotional night as well. The Bobcats dropped a pair of extra-inning games to Southeast Polk on Wednesday, playing a combined 20 innings.

Mallory Kilian went the distance in the opener, surviving a four-run inning to run her record to 12-4. She scattered six hits and faced the minimum of nine batters over the final three innings after the Bobcats had taken a 4-0 lead.

Kilian did allow two base runners after the fourth, but one was erased on a double play to end the fifth and one was thrown out trying to steal in the sixth.

Senior Megan Gibson got her first start in the second game and went 4 2/3 innings. Eighth grader Meagan Hartman relieved Gibson in the fourth and finished to post her second win of the season.

“Mallory was solid. She stayed calm and did what she needed to do. She’s is just so confident and we need that right now,” said Adams. “I was proud of Megan coming in and pitching well in her first start and Meagan Hartman did a great job coming in. She handles the pressure so wellmore than any 8th grader I’ve seen in a while. The team is so confident when she comes in.”

Fort Dodge stranded five combined runners in the first three innings of the opener and fell behind 4-0 after the fourth. The Bobcats sent nine batters to the plate. The big blow was a 2-run single by catcher Taylor Wagner. Strangely, eight of the nine batters reached base. Two were erased on the bases and Kilian got Quinn Goodman to fly out to end the frame.

The Dodgers answered right back with a six-run fourth. Marshalltown committed five errors in the inning. Four of them led directly to runs. Fort Dodge had just two hits in the frame, including an RBI single from Lani Van Zyl.

That was all Kilian would need. She allowed a single to Kelly Mead in the fifth, but erased her with a 1-6-3 double play. Kari Smith walked in the sixth, but was thrown out stealing by Taylor Messerly.

Kilian retired the Bobcats in order in the seventh.

Lexi Astor was 2-for-3 from her lead-off spot while Van Zyl went 3-for-4 batting second. Riley Hartman added two hits as well.

“Van Zyl did a great job tonight. She was on defensively. Madi Bennett had a great catch for us and Riley Hartman had a good game,” said Adams.

Fort Dodge jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second game, starting the contest with three straight hits. Kilian had an RBI single then Maddie Egli executed a perfect squeeze bunt that actually scored two runs thanks to aggressive base running by Kilian.

The Bobcats got two runs in the second on a bases-loaded walk and a run-scoring groundout to make it 3-2. Fort Dodge went up 4-2 in the third, again scoring thanks to a Marshalltown error.

Marshalltown tied it with single runs in the fourth and fifth. A bases loaded walk in the fourth made it 4-3 and Emily Devenney drove home the tying run in the fifth.

Fort Dodge scored the eventual winning run in the fifth as Riley Hartman singled to score Bennett, who had started the frame with a walk.

Meagan Hartman allowed just one run in her three-plus innings of work. She got out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth and actually matched Kilian with a 1-2-3 seventh inning.

Van Zyl stayed hot I the second game, reaching base four times. Kilian had two hits in the second game.

Fort Dodge won the junior varsity contest, 5-0, riding the two-hit pitching performance of Cassie Tjebben. Riley Hartman and Jamie Haden had two hits each.

The Dodgers face fourth-ranked (3A) Carlisle in a varsity pair tonight starting at 4 p.m. at Rogers Park. There is no JV game.

State champion tennis player Jaci Cochrane will be honored between the games.