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FORT DODGE — First came the bloops. Then came the blasts. Finally, the bombs.
Seventh-ranked Center Point-Urbana found every gap in the Humboldt defense, rapping out 16 hits and blasting the fourth-rated Wildcats, 14-2, in a five-inning Class 3A quarterfinal at the state softball tournament Monday night at the Rogers Sports Complex.
“We came out and squared the ball up,” leadoff hitter Olivia Brecht said. “We didn’t swing for the fences. We focused on good, hard contact.”
More often than not, that good, hard contact evaded the Wildcats’ gloves. The Stormin’ Pointers (30-10) laced a number of their hits between third base and shortstop, cleanly into left field.
“We were definitely ready to go tonight,” said Claire Holtz, who knocked in six runs on a 4-for-4 night, capped by a two-run homer. “I can’t explain what happened.”
Now, they’ll try to bottle it and duplicate it, because a gigantic challenge awaits. CPU will face No. 1 Davenport Assumption (42-1) in a semifinal at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.
Assumption whipped No. 10 West Marshall, 10-0, Monday for its 42nd consecutive win.
“If we come out like we did tonight and not let their pitcher intimidate us, we’ll be fine,” Holtz said.
CPU did its damage against a fine pitcher in freshman Ellie Jacobson, who entered the game with a 26-2 record and a 1.13 ERA.
The Stormin’ Pointers jumped on her for four runs in the top of the first, featuring RBI hits by Katelyn Banning and Maddie Karr and a two-run single by Holtz.
“It’s awesome knowing you have a little cushion,” said CPU pitcher Bailey Smith, who retired 11 of the final 12 batters she faced. “I have confidence in our whole batting order.”
Humboldt (31-5) got two runs back in the bottom of the first, but Smith clamped down from there, and the CPU bats were relentless.
Brecht’s three-run homer made it 7-2 in the third. Then Holtz hit a two-run double to highlight a five-run fourth and her two-run homer in the fifth.
“We played our game,” CPU Coach Don Vanourney said. “I’m so confident and so comfortable in our batting order from 1 through 9. They can really all get after it.”
Brecht and Banning both had three hits to go with Holtz’s four.
The Stormin’ Pointers planned to stay in Fort Dodge Monday night, then head home Tuesday morning before returning Thursday.
“I want them to get a couple good nights of sleep in their own beds,” Vanourney said.
A good place to dream big dreams.
CENTER POINT-URBANA 14, HUMBOLDT 2 (5 innings)
Class 3A State Quarterfinal, at Fort Dodge
Center Point-Urbana 403 52 — 14 16 0
Humboldt 200 00 — 2 3 0
Bailey Smith and Claire Holtz. Ellie Jacobson, Lizzie Tecklenburg (5) and Kelsey Peters. W — Smith (13-4). L — Jacobson (26-3). HR — CPU: Olivia Brecht (6), Claire Holtz (4).
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