It didn't take long for the West Des Moines Dowling softball squad to rediscover their offensive rhythm in Fort Dodge.
The Maroon bats came back to life here Tuesday in a Class 5A quarterfinal victory over Dubuque Senior. Dowling's top four hitters went a combined 10-for-15 at the plate with nine RBI to drive a 12-4 state victory home on Diamond 2 at Rogers Park.
After dropping five of their last six regular-season contests and being shut out three times during that stretch, the Maroons (32-11 overall) were searching for answers.
That's when tournament time arrived.
The sudden hot streak continued yesterday. Kaila Konz and Claudia Farrell had three hits each, while Farrell and Sierra Walton both homered and drove in three runs.
''It's good to see our offense clicking again,'' Dowling head coach Matt Murillo said. ''We hadn't been playing our best ball down the stretch of the season, but things started to turn around offensively for us and the girls were definitely locked in (Tuesday).''
DUBUQUE SENIOR 4
Dowling 080 103 0 - 12 13 4
Dub. Senior 101 200 0 - 4 3 0
Claudia Farrell (W, 18-6; 7 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 14 K) and Meaghan McCarthy; A.J. Medinger (L, 21-4; 2 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 1 BB, 2 K), Natalie Jacobsmeier (5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K) and Kristie Sommer.
2B-WDMD: Kaila Konz 2, Jessica Bastian. HR-WDMD: Claudia Farrell, Sierra Walton. SB-DS: Jessie Westhoff, Katie Sommer. MH-WDMD: Kaila Konz (3), Claudia Farrell (3), Jessica Bastian (2), Sierra Walton (2). RBI-WDMD: Claudia Farrell (3), Sierra Walton 3, Jessica Bastian 2, Aubrie Crivaro 2, Kaila Konz; DS: Katie Sommer, Kristie Sommer, A.J. Medinger, Jessie Westhoff. LOB-Dowling 2, Dubuque Senior 5.
Farrell (18-6) also tossed a complete game three-hitter from the pitcher's circle. The junior struck out 14 for the Maroons, who are at state for a fourth consecutive time.
''The bats really came through for us; it's always great to get that kind of (run support),'' Farrell said. ''It felt so good to do this for the team and for the program. We were ready to go - ready to win.''
Senior (33-8), making its first trip to Fort Dodge since winning it all in 1985, jumped ahead 1-0 in the first inning. Dowling exploded for eight runs in the second, though, and never looked back.
Konz scored three runs, while first baseman Jessica Bastian went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs and RBI. Aubrie Crivaro also knocked in two for the Maroons, who were co-Central Iowa Conference Western Division champions this year.
Dowling will now square off with No. 2 Ankeny at 7 p.m. on Diamond 1 Thursday. The Hawkettes swept the Maroons during the regular season, 5-4 and 9-5.
''Ankeny is an outstanding ballclub with a lot of offensive firepower,'' Murillo said. ''We're going to need a sharp practice (Wednesday) so that we're ready to go.''