AMES - Wrapping up its regular season with a bang, the Fort Dodge softball team clinched an outright CIC Northern Division title by sweeping Ames Monday night.
Scores were 3-1 and 4-1 in favor of the Dodgers (25-15 overall, 9-3 in the league), who secured their first conference championship since 2005.
"It was exciting and fun to win (the CIC Northern Division) outright, because we didn't want to share it with Mason City," said FDSH head coach Andi Adams. "We came out very hungry, full of desire and gave it everything we had. It was great to see the hard work pay off."
Mallory Kilian and Lani Van Zyl each went 2-for-3 with a double in the first game for the Dodgers. Kilian added two RBI, while Van Zyl scored a run.
Kilian (15-6) also went the distance in the circle, allowing just two hits with six strikeouts.
"Mallory stepped up for us and was in a zone," Adams said. "She did a great job of mixing up her speeds, and we made some phenomenal defensive plays behind her."
FORT DODGE 3, AMES 1
Fort Dodge 100 002 0-3 7 1
Ames 010 000 0-1 2 1
Mallory Kilian and Taylor Messerly; Kelanie Crosswait and Hannah Bloch.
2B-FD: Lani Van Zyl, Kilian; A: Kate Crow.
FORT DODGE 4, AMES 1
Fort Dodge 003 100 0- 4 8 0
Ames 001 000 0-1 2 2
Meagan Hartman, Cassie Tjebben (4), Kilian (5) and Messerly; Taylor Schumacher and Blach.
In the nightcap, Lexi Astor finished 3-for-4, including a two-run single in the third inning. Megan Gibson drove in an insurance score with a single in the fourth.
Eighth-grader Meagan Hartman (3-4) posted the win, while Kilian recorded the last nine outs for her first save of the year.
Defensively, the Dodgers gunned down an Ames (20-19, 5-7) baserunner at the plate on a 9-3-2 putout in Game 1. FDSH also turned a rare 8-2-5-6 double play in the second contest.
"Ames has been playing very well lately, and they know how to put the ball into play," said Adams. "I was just extremely proud of every single one of our girls for doing their jobs (last night)."
The Dodgers outhit the Little Cyclones on the evening, 15-4.
Fort Dodge will now host the winner of either Sioux City East or Sioux City North in a Class 5A, Region 1 semifinal Saturday at 7 p.m.