Dodgers move on

Local softball fans witnessed an entertaining game between ranked intra-city rivals Fort Dodge and St. Edmond here Friday night.

Despite being tested from start to finish, the fourth-rated (Class 4A) Dodgers (15-5 overall) held off the No. 7 (2A) Gaels by a 2-1 count in the quarterfinals of the FDSH Invitational at Rogers Sports Complex.

Due to a tournament time limit, play was called after six innings.

“With the girls excited on both sides, I was expecting it to be intense like that,” Fort Dodge head coach Andi Adams said. “I was proud of everybody for stepping up (last night) when we needed them to. Playing teams like (St. Edmond) is only going to help us down the road.

“This was a fun game for the whole community. I was glad the bad weather held off (a light rain fell in the early innings Friday).”

Cleanup batter Maddie Egli went 2-for-3 with a RBI for the Dodgers. Egli, a senior, broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning with a double to left-center field, bringing home Mallory Kilian from second base. Courtesy runner Toryn Pederson later crossed the dish with the decisive run for Fort Dodge in the fifth, scoring on a failed rundown after a groundball to third.

“It was a great effort all the way around, but my hat’s off to the Dodgers for coming through,” said SEHS head coach Paul Hunt. “I felt we had the right mindset going in. Our girls are mentally stronger this year (St. Edmond dropped a 14-2 five-inning decision to Fort Dodge here last summer). We hit the ball hard at times, but we just couldn’t seem to find any holes.”

Making her first varsity appearance in the circle, eighth-grader Bre Tjebben (1-0) posted the victory in relief of Meagan Hartman. Tjebben allowed three hits and one earned run, while walking one and striking out two over 2 1/3 innings. Kilian, a University of Northern Iowa recruit, fanned the only two hitters she faced for her first save of the year.

“Bre just got called up (to varsity) yesterday, and I thought she did a great job,” Adams said. “Mallory came in at the end and was lights out, too. She looked like the old Mallory (Friday).”

Tjebben helped her own cause offensively with a double, which set up the eventual winning score. Lani Van Zyl, Kilian and Maddie Bodholdt all contributed singles for the other Dodger hits.

Down 1-0 in the fourth, junior Anna Yung plated Maggie Harvey with a clutch two-out RBI single to left for the lone Gael tally. Harvey was left stranded at second to end the contest after reaching on a fielding error by the FDSH shortstop to start the inning.

“We were just trying to play for one or two runs there in that last inning,” said Hunt. “Mallory, though, really showed why she’s such an excellent pitcher.”

Harvey sparked the SEHS attack with a 2-for-3 effort. Lily Peterson and Megan Flattery each added singles for St. Edmond (17-3), which committed three errors.

Defensively, Egli robbed Jessica Kuebler of a potential home run by reaching over the center field fence for a sparkling catch. Both Egli and Lexi Astor also made back-to-back higlight-reel grabs in the second inning.

“My outfielders did another phenomenal job,” Adams said. “They probably saved a couple of runs for us early in the game. I have a lot of confidence in them to make those kind of plays.”

Junior catcher Molly Matthes gunned down a pair of St. Edmond runners on the bases as well.

Ace Amanda Lansman (17-3) was the tough-luck loser for the Gaels. Lansman went the distance, scattering six hits and two earned runs. She walked none and fanned four.

“I feel Amanda is hard for anybody to hit when she’s at her best and hitting her spots,” said Hunt. “The exciting thing is she still hasn’t reached her potential yet.”

Fort Dodge will now face Winterset in a tournament semifinal here this afternoon at 3 p.m. on Diamond 1. Awaiting St. Edmond in the consolation bracket at 11 a.m. on Diamond 2 is Sioux City Heelan.

“Jim Winter and his crew did a phenomenal job of getting the fields ready,” Adams said. “Dave Newman deserves a lot of credit, too, for making this tournament run so smoothly.”

Dodgers blank No. 13 Comets

In their tournament opener Friday, No. 4 (4A) Fort Dodge blanked 13th-ranked (2A) BCLUW by a 9-0 final.

Mallory Kilian (7-3) went the distance in her fifth shutout of the year for the Dodgers (14-5 overall), yielding just three hits.

Lexi Astor and Madi Bennett each produced a pair of hits. Kilian also drove in two, while McKinna Teske and Bre Ulrich both scored twice.

Fort Dodge pulled away behind a four-spot in the second inning.

Gaels edge Cyclones

Overcoming seven errors, No. 7 (2A) St Edmond opened tournament play with a tight 4-3 victory over Harlan.

Jaci Stumpf (double) and Jessica Kuebler (single) managed the only two hits for the Gaels (17-2 overall), who plated single runs in four different innings.

Cassie Sells also scored twice for SEHS, while pinch runner Katie Ahlers came home with the winning run in the sixth.

Lansman (17-2) pitched all six innings, surrendering five hits.