Competition fierce at FDSH Invite

The annual Fort Dodge Invitational softball tournament is scheduled to take place over the next two days at Rogers Park.

The No. 3 (Class 4A) Dodgers are the host for the 16-team field, which includes seven ranked programs.

Joining Fort Dodge will be No. 7 (2A) St. Edmond, second-ranked (4A) Solon, No. 3 (5A) Dowling, 10th-ranked (2A) North Union, No. 15 (1A) Newell-Fonda, 15th-ranked (4A) Winterset and 15th-rated (2A) BCLUW. Ankeny, Atlantic, Clear Creek-Amana, Emmetsburg, Harlan, Sioux City East, Webster City and Sioux City Heelan will also be in attendance.

“This is one of the premier tournaments in the state of Iowa,” FDSH head coach Andi Adams said. “No matter if you win or lose, you are going to be playing quality opponents and you have the opportunity to get better.”

The Dodgers (14-4 overall) open at 3 p.m. on Friday against BCLUW (15-4), while the Gaels (16-2) face Harlan (12-4) at the same time.

“I’m excited to see what we can do,” Adams said. “This is the start of phase two to our season, with (postseason) pairings coming out on Monday. We want to put together a good showing and build towards the stretch run.”

The first games are scheduled to start at 9 a.m. today on three diamonds. The championship game is set for Saturday at 7 p.m. on Diamond 1.

Dowling takes on Atlantic and Clear Creek-Amana squares off with Newell-Fonda at 9 a.m., followed by Ankeny vs. Sioux City East and Emmetsburg vs. Solon at 11 a.m.

The 1 p.m. games will feature Winterset vs. Webster City and North Union vs. Sioux City Heelan.

Dowling is the defending 5A state champions, while Ankeny placed third. Winterset was fifth in 4A, defeating Solon, St. Edmond finished sixth in 2A and Newell-Fonda was fourth in 1A.

Last year, rain kept the tournament from being completed.

“I can’t say enough about Jim Winters and the job his crew does out here,” Adams said. “And Dave Newman does a great job of running the entire tournament.

“The people that come out (to Rogers Park) are going to see quality softball from some very good teams around the state.”