This isn't Deposit-Hancock softball's first rodeo. In fact, the Eagles are searching for their third-straight New York State Class D Title, but what's made the DH program so special, and how is the Class D Dynasty preparing for a familiar foe?

State Champs in 1989, 1990, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, ...alright, alright, you get it. Deposit softball was a dynasty, winning four of five state championships from 2015 to 2019 and appearing in all five games.

"They bought into my message," said head coach Dan Briggs. "They bought into the culture that was even set before I started coaching."

And now as a combined program, Deposit-Hancock has won each of the last two state titles, just cementing the foundation that was already laid.

"We're always in the gym once, twice a week," said junior infielder Amanda Ray. "The pitchers, catchers, we're out there four times a week trying to just get pitches in."

That's been a year-long path for the Eagles, knowing they'd see a familiar face if they got back to the state's final four, Section Five's Scio/Friendship

"Oh, we're so excited," said senior outfielder Abigail Russell. "I mean, we're nervous, of course, but we're prepared."

Last year, the Eagles and the Golden Eagles, played a 13-inning marathon, ultimately ending in a repeat title for Deposit-Hancock.

"I'll speak for all the girls when I say this, we've been thinking about this game since last year after that last out," said junior pitcher Addison Makowski.

But the biggest difference between these two games will be the pitching, at least for DH...The Eagles graduated ace Kaitlyn Macumber, but this year's starter, Addison Makowksi, is no slouch herself, allowing one hit across her last two games and even throwing a perfect game in the Section IV Championship.

"Addison I mean, obviously they didn't see her last year, she's a completely different pitcher than she was last year," Briggs said. "So between her and Kaitlyn, they pitch very similar."

And something that'll be different? The Eagles' lineup showcased a whole lotta youth last season and they believe an extra year under their belts will help this time around.

"Oh, we definitely have to step it up more offensively this year," said junior infielder Sarah Gross. "Put the ball in play a lot more, and Briggs has definitely prepared us for that. But throughout the whole season, he's told us to visualize ourselves in this situation, so we're prepared."

Prepared to play in a potential third state championship in as many years and if it sounds like I'm repeating myself, it's because I am. The D-H Eagles are in the midst of maybe the most dominant run in New York State softball history. And if you ask the girls, who's the reason for that?

"Coach Briggs," Gross said. "He's definitely prepared us for every single game we go into. We take it one game at a time, and he definitely helps us with everything."

But the five-time state champion head coach is a little more bullish.

"It really starts and ends with the girls," Briggs said. "We've got a new bunch coming in each year, but they all buy in right away."

The Eagles' semifinal matchup with Scio/Friendship is scheduled for Friday at noon at Martha Avenue Rec Park. If the Eagles win on Friday, they will play the winner of Salem vs. Chateaugay on Saturday at 10:30 am.