When you come into a season as the preseason #1 their are high expectations. Those expectations come in many forms their are internal self expectations, their are expectations from the surrounding community as well. Simply put, when you are number one people expect you to deliver and you get everybody’s best shot. Fort Dodge has relished those expectations all year and kept the #1 ranking throughout. They sit at 26-3 with all 3 losses coming to ranked teams on the road in 2nd games of doubleheaders. Fort Dodge has played 7 ranked teams during the season as well challenging themselves. They were expected to be in the state tournament and thus far have been poised and delivered on expectations. They did that again Tuesday night when they punched their ticket to their 3rd straight state tourney appearance.
The Dodgers won the Regional Championship in dominant fashion cruising 12-0 in 4 innings past Sioux City North. 7 different Dodger players had hits in the game and they pounded out a total of 10 hits. Dodgers got 2 in the 1st, 4 in the 2nd, and 3 in the 3rd and 4th innings. It was pretty vintage Dodger Softball be aggressive at the plate, hit the ball hard, and taking the extra base whenever there was any opportunity. When you package that with dominant pitching you have what makes up a championship caliber team. Jalen Adams was again dominant in the circle winning her 18th game of the season, she threw a 4 inning, 1 hit shutout while striking out 5. At one point vs SC North Adams retired 10 hitters in a row. Offensively the Dodgers got production all the way through their line up. We all know and expect big time production out of the 1-5 spots in that line up and when you look at the leaders in almost every individual offensive category in Iowa you see Dodger players who hit in the 1-5 spots on those lists. Loghen Schnetzer who has been in the top 10 in homers all year was the RBI champ in the regular season In Iowa. Catcher TK Doster right behind her 2nd in RBI’s and was 1st in total bases. Adams is among the leaders in batting average, Tory Bennett is 1st in runs scored and 4th in stolen bases. However, the 7-9 hitters were really good vs SC North going a combined 3 for 4 with 3 RBI’s, 4 runs scored and reached base a combined 5 times (and only had a total of 7 plate appearances). The production of the bottom of the order will be a definitive factor in state.
The Question now for the Dodgers will be can they meet the expectations at the State Tournament? The program is making it’s 3rd straight appearance at state and has lost the 1st game at state the last two trips. It is the 11th trip under Hall Of Fame Coach Andi Adams who took over in 2001 and the 16th overall in program history. However, the Dodgers have yet to win it all. Is this the year the “big gold trophy” stays in Fort Dodge? Find out next week starting Monday as the Dodgers have earned the #1 seed and take on 8th seeded Bettendorf. That game is Monday at 11 vAM at Rogers Park and will air on “Sunny” 99.7 and here on our website.