Before the softball season began, before her Canyon del Oro High School team went 35-1 and won the Class 4A-I state title Saturday, Kelly Fowler advised her players.
"I want you to be able to feel it," she told her team. "There's nothing like winning a state championship."
There was little doubting the Dorados' emotion Saturday as Marissa Spangler sprinted around the bases after launching a walk-off two-run homer to defeat Cienega 11-1 in five innings at Cherry Field.
The Dorados broke a school record that was less than 48 hours old.
In Thursday's semifinal game, CDO hit five home runs, believed to be the school record.
Saturday, they hit six - including two by Spangler.
"It's the best feeling in the world right now," said CDO pitcher Mattie Fowler (14-0), whose second-inning shot improved her school record to 17 career homers. "Our offense was amazing."
After scoring one in the first inning, CDO exploded in the second. Sammy Nettling's solo home run came with one out. After the next batter reached base, Spangler pinch-hit and hit one over the left field wall.
A single and hit batsman later, Mattie Fowler's shot chased Cienega starter Celina Martinez, who allowed six hits against the 12 batters she faced.
The Bobcats (20-9) weren't completely baffled by the Nebraska-bound Fowler, who had an 0.82 ERA entering the game.
The defending state champions put runners at first and second in the first inning and ran into bad luck, hitting into double plays in two of the first five innings. They scored one in the fourth when, with two outs, Alyssa Guevara singled home Stephanie Tatham.
CDO, which had 47 homers entering the game, hit another three in the fifth to end the game early.
Sammi Noland's netted two runs, and Katelin Vaughn followed her with a solo homer that chased Sarah Andrews in favor of the original starter, Martinez.
With two out, Spangler hit what she thought was a popout. Then she saw Kelly Fowler's face.
"It's just amazing that it's all come together right at the end," Spangler said. "It's just the greatest feeling in the world."
CDO, ranked No. 3 in the latest ESPN Rise Fab 50, has now won four state titles since 2007. After the game, students stormed the field, playing "We are the Champions" on portable stereos.
Mattie Fowler gripped the trophy, mobbed by her teammates.
"Everyone stepped up in their own way this season," she said. "I don't think anyone saw us being this dominating."