Dodger softball players honored

On the heels of earning an outright league championship, Fort Dodge was rewarded with nine nominees on the all-CIC Northern Division softball teams.

Sophomores Mallory Kilian (P) and Lani Van Zyl (INF) and juniors Lexi Astor (OF) and Maddie Egli (OF) all landed on the top squad for the Dodgers. Kilian, Van Zyl and Astor were each unanimous picks.

In addition, senior Taylor Messerly (C) and freshman Madi Bennett (INF) both made the all-conference second team. Receiving honorable mention status were junior Madi Bodholdt and sophomores Cassie Tjebben and Kinna Teske.

Kilian compiled a 16-7 mark in 27 appearances in the circle. She allowed 119 hits in 153 1/3 innings of work. Offensively, she tied for the team lead in hits (55) and triples (2), while pacing FDSH in at-bats (126), RBI (41), home runs (7), doubles (10) and slugging percentage (.714). Kilian, who started all 42 games, finished with a .437 batting average and scored 26 runs.

“Mallory’s just a very good athlete that literally could play every position on the field,” Fort Dodge head coach Andi Adams said. “She had a heck of a year pitching and also hitting. I thought she was real deserving of the honor.”

Van Zyl, a shortstop, posted a .357 average at the plate with a team-high 15 walks, 40 hits, 38 runs and was a perfect 11-for-11 in stolen base attempts.

“Lani’s definitely known for her defensive prowess,” said Adams. “She made a lot of outstanding plays this season. It was also exciting to see her raise her batting average about 100 points from last year.”

As a center fielder, Astor managed team-bests in batting average (.440), stolen bases (39), on-base percentage (.504), and hit-by-pitches (7), while tying Kilian in hits (55) and Van Zyl in runs scored (38).

“Speed, speed and more speed pretty much sums up Lexi’s game,” Adams said. “Lexi was only two stolen bases away from Mackenzie Alstott’s single-season school record. She made some excellent defensive plays in center as well.”

Egli, a left fielder, batted .307 with 35 hits, 40 RBI and 27 runs.

“Maddie did a really nice job for us, especially in conference play,” said Adams. “She was very consistent in driving in runs as either our No. 4 or 5 hitter.”

Messerly, an Iowa Central recruit, recorded a .287 average with 31 hits and 17 RBI. Behind the dish, she committed five errors in 218 total chances.

Bennett, a second baseman, batted .284 with 29 hits, 18 runs and 16 RBI.

Bodholdt, a first baseman, notched team-highs in sacrifices (20) and fielding percentage (.988). Tjebben was 7-4 in 59 2/3 innings pitched. Teske, a third baseman, scored 15 runs in 39 contests.

Fort Dodge, which went 26-16 overall and 9-3 in the conference, saw its season come to an end in a 6-0 Class 5A regional final setback at second-ranked and eventual state semifinalist Ankeny.

“One of our goals was to win the CIC Northern Division in its first year, which we were able to do,” Adams said. “I was very proud of all our accomplishments this season.”

Kilian (UT) and Astor (OF) were also selected to the all-CIC Super Conference first team, while Van Zyl (INF) garnered a spot on the second squad.