Stage Set For 50th State Softball Tournament In Fort Dodge Next Week
The 2020 Iowa State Softball Tournament is coming up next week here in Fort Dodge. The brackets are all set in all five classes for next week’s tournament and Fort Dodge will for the 50th year be the epicenter of softball in Iowa. Five teams from around the area have punched their ticket to state, so North Central Iowa will be well represented. The State Tournament represents various things to various teams and people. For the small schools it is sometimes a once in a generation opportunity to win Iowa’s biggest prize for their community. Small schools who are accustomed to earning bids to State see it as a chance to showcase themselves on the state’s biggest stage. A team like Fort Dodge who has been ranked #1 in 5A all year would have to view it as an opportunity to breakthrough and hoist the “big gold” at the end of the tournament. For the Dodgers this year is as good an opportunity as they have had under Coach Andi Adams to win the Quarterfinal game and advance towards their ultimate goal. A win Monday for Fort Dodge would lift the weight off their shoulders that comes after falling in the Quarterfinals each of the last two years consecutively. The Dodgers come in 26-3 having won 11 in a row and earned the #1 seed after carrying the top ranking from preseason until now. Dodgers will take on 8 seed Bettendorf. The Bulldogs are a team who is battle tested they are 19-6 on the season with all 6 losses coming to teams who are in the state tournament. The defeated Johnston 5-2 to punch their ticket, a Johnston team that split a doubleheader in Johnston with Fort Dodge early in this season. You can hear the Fort Dodge vs Bettendorf game Monday an 11 AM 1st pitch on “Sunny” 99.7 and here on our website.
Class 1A Newell-Fonda is back a school that is incredibly successful in girls sports across the board. The Mustangs are coached by a former Dodger player Courtney Darrow who is looking for a sweet homecoming in this year’s tournament. Newell-Fonda visited here to play Fort Dodge earlier this year putting up a solid fight before falling 6-1. The Mustangs other loss is to Class 3A State participate Humboldt 4-0, Newell-Fonda has drawn the #2 seed in Class 1A. The Mustangs will #7 seed Lisbon on Tuesday night at 7 PM.
In Class 2A Ogden has earned the 3 seed after going 19-3 on the year and winning a pitchers duel 1-0 at home against East Marshall to punch their ticket. After suffering back to back losses June 26th and 27th, Ogden has reeled off 11 wins in their last 12 games. Ogden’s marquee win was a 8-0 win over Humboldt earlier this season one of just 2 losses for The Wildcats. They get #6 seed Mount Ayr, the Raiders have played the least amount of games (14) of any state qualifier this year. They lost last their last two regular season games finishing the regular season at 7-4. They then reeled off 3 straight playoff wins to get the trip to Fort Dodge. They beat Earlham in the Regional Finals 4-3 after splitting with them in the regular season.
In Class 3A, their are a couple of area programs who are familiar with playing in the State Tournament. Humboldt is back for the 3rd time in 4 years. Wildcats standout Pitcher Ellie Jacobson has been nearly untouchable in the postseason throwing 3 straight shutout and hasn’t allowed a run in 17 consecutive innings. The Wildcats also boast power hitting Junior Kendall Clark who is tied for 3rd in Iowa in home runs having belted 10 this season and is hitting .460 on the season. Humboldt has earned the 4th seed in Class 3A and will take on 5th seed Mt. Vernon who is 20-4 on the season. Humboldt is coached by veteran coach Doug Van Pelt who has won over 600 games at the school. Van Pelt says that even though he’s made several trips to Fort Dodge for state the excitement is always at an all time high.
Algona is also in the Class 3A State Tournament making it back to back appearances for Coach Todd Van Otterloo’s squad. The Bulldogs are 16-1 on the season with their lone loss coming at Humboldt on July 2nd by a score of 4-2. Algona defeated Crestwood 2-0 in the Regional Finals to punch their ticket. They scratched off 2 runsvs Crestwood’s Lakin Leinhard who only allowed 7 total runs all year. Bulldogs are led by one of Iowa’s top two way players in Senior Kam Etherington. She is 14-1 in the circle this season with an ERA of .60 and a strikeout to walk ratio of nearly 12 to 1. Etherington also is tops in Iowa in batting average at .667 and her .789 On base Percentage leads Iowa as well. Algona has earned the 6 seed and will play 3 seed Williamsburg who comes in with a record of 23-4.
For the 50th consecutive year Rogers Park in Fort Dodge will host the Iowa State Softball Tournament. In this day and time when you can do something for 50 years it signifies a commitment to excellence. One of Iowa’s great traditions continues with Quarterfinal Action starting Monday. Schedule for area teams in Quarterfinal action is below.
5A Monday 11AM- #1 Fort Dodge (26-3) vs #8 Bettendorf 19-6
3A Monday 7:30 PM- #4 Humboldt (20-2) vs #5 Mount Vernon (20-4)
3A Tuesday 1 PM- # 6 Algona (16-1) vs #3 Williamsburg (23-4)
2A Tuesday 5 PM- #3 Ogden (19-3) vs #6 Mount Ayr ( 10-4)
1A Tuesday 7 Pm – #2 Newell-Fonda ( 18-2) vs #7 Lisbon ( 20-3)