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Fort Dodge finds ways around MHS for sweep

No. 3 Dodgers run series win streak to 37

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE - Marshalltown catcher Ava Kusserow, right, tags out Fort Dodge’s Meah McCaleb on a play at the plate during the first game of Monday’s Iowa Alliance Conference doubleheader. McCaleb was thrown out by MHS left fielder Madison Rogers while trying to score on a flyout in Fort Dodge’s 8-0 victory in Game 1.

An eventful night surrounding Marshalltown softball didn’t result in any wins for the Bobcats.

Class 4A No. 3 Fort Dodge ran its series win streak to 37 games with victories of 8-0 and 14-1 in Monday’s Iowa Alliance Conference North Division doubleheader, securing the season sweep.

Marshalltown (10-21, 4-10) hung around as long as it could against the Dodgers (22-8, 10-2), but at some point in both games the levee couldn’t withstand the surge.

Fort Dodge hurler Lucy Porter pitched a three-hit shutout in the opener, allowing a trio of singles while striking out seven and walking none in the 8-0 triumph. Marshalltown’s first hit didn’t arrive until Gianna Baune beat out a bunt single in the bottom of the fourth, but she could only advance as far as second base.

Kennedy Feldman added a two-out single in the fifth and Laney Danielson had a one-out single in the seventh, but the Bobcats couldn’t claw out a run against Porter.

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE - Marshalltown third baseman Madison Rogers, right, throws across the diamond to first baseman Emma Stupp during the second game of Monday’s softball doubleheader against Fort Dodge.

“Fort Dodge is Fort Dodge,” said MHS head coach Jason Bowers. “They’re one of the best in the state and at some point the dam broke. I thought Hanna (Osgood) for the first three innings (of Game 2) pitched really well, kept us in the game for the most part, and Karsyn pitched well enough to keep us in the game if we could get hits. But when you go against one of the best pitchers in the state, it’s tough to scratch out some runs and we couldn’t do that.”

Price pitched all seven innings of the opener, allowing seven earned runs on 10 hits and three walks. She struck out one.

Fort Dodge tallied two runs in the first, second, third and sixth innings to attain its 8-0 lead. Of the Dodgers’ 10 hits, only two of them went for extra bases, but their mastery of running the bases paved the way for offense. Fort Dodge swiped eight bags in the first game and five more in the second, turning singles into proverbial doubles and triples with an aggressive mindset.

Hope Alstott and Calliegh Zimmerman had two hits apiece to lead Fort Dodge in the first game.

In the nightcap, the field umpire became ill and was removed from the MHS athletic complex by ambulance, pausing the game for a spell. He was replaced in the field by Fort Dodge assistant coach Jalen Adams, the daughter of head coach Andi Adams and a pitcher for the University of Iowa softball team.

Due to the heat and humidity, both teams agreed to play just five innings for the nightcap, and Fort Dodge made sure that’s where this one stopped anyway. The Dodgers tallied 13 hits and won the finale 14-1 after five innings by mercy rule.

Bowers even sat in the dugout for most of the second game after feeling a bit under the weather for a moment.

“Many a first tonight, I guess,” Bowers said.

Aubrey Alstott limited MHS to seven hits in the second game while striking out only one. Fort Dodge’s defense made only one error behind her.

The Bobcats got their only run of the night in the bottom of the first inning, as a two-out double by Emma Stupp was followed by singles from Danielson and Bella Avise.

Stupp had two hits in the game and pitched the final 1 2/3 innings in relief of Osgood, who surrendered 10 runs — six earned — on 10 hits and one walk in 3 1/3 innings. She struck out one. Stupp allowed four runs — one earned — on three hits and one walk while striking out one.

Marshalltown made five errors in the second game and two more in the opener.

“In the second game we hit the ball better, but we couldn’t piece them together enough,” said Bowers.

Hope Alstott and Porter combined to go 6-for-7 with a double by Porter, five runs scored and three RBIs at the top of Fort Dodge’s lineup.

Marshalltown got additional singles from Baune, Feldman and Kate Sandvick in the defeat.

The Bobcats go on the road Thursday to close out the season series with Waterloo East.

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