JOHNSTON - The fourth-ranked (Class 4A)?Fort Dodge softball squad had to rally to earn a road split in their season finale against CIML?cross-conference foe Johnston here on Tuesday.
Junior Keegan Gormally and sophomore JC?Hatcher combined on a two-hit shutout in a 5-0 nightcap victory for the Dodgers (32-7 overall). The Dragons (17-18) doubled FDSH up in the opener, 8-4.
"We didn't match Johnston's intensity early - credit them for taking it to us,"?Dodger head coach Matt Elsbecker said. "They're a solid ballclub that does a lot of things well.
"Fortunately, our guys really responded to the challenge in that second game. It all started with Keegan, who set the tone on the mound. And our defense was outstanding behind him. The Dodgers answered the bell."
Will Gormally had three hits in the opener, while Isaac Lehman was 2-for-3. Gormally also chipped in a pair of nightcap hits, as did freshman Austin Halligan.
Keegan Gormally improved to 2-1 on the season. Gormally and Hatcher did not strike out a single batter, but Fort Dodge also didn't commit an error behind them.
Johnston 8, Fort Dodge 4
Fort Dodge 100 100 2 - 4 10 1
Johnston 303 011 x - 8 14 1
Luke Vandermaten, Nathan Matthes (2), Andrew Stover (6) and Devon Harms. Larpenter, Pevelka (7) and Woods. 2B-FD: Isaac Lehman; J: Larpenter.
Fort Dodge 5, Johnston 0
Fort Dodge 011 020 1 - 5 10 0
Johnston 000 000 0 - 0 2 2
Keegan Gormally, JC Hatcher (5) and Devon Harms; Kinning, Siddens (7) and Woods. 2B-FD: Tommy Halligan, Will Gormally.
Fort Dodge opens Class 4A substate play on Friday with a quarterfinal contest against Sioux City West. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. at Rogers Park.