Vestal softball, 21-0, STAC Champs, Section IV Champs, Regional Champs and now hoping to pick up the program's first-ever State Championship. I spoke with the Golden Bears ahead of their semifinal matchup down in Long Island as we wrap up our Title Week with our Amphenol Team of the Week, Vestal Softball.

The Vestal Golden Bears are on top of their game...

"We're really excited," said senior infielder Adrienne Mayes. "We just really want to win for the rest of the team, the underclassmen, and because we haven't won yet for softball, it would be really enthusiastic too."

And the last two years have fueled this season's campaign.

"Definitely losing last year and the year before that, just pushes us to be better and practice year round," said senior outfielder Kendall Brady. "Just keep getting better as a team and as a whole."

In 2022, the Golden Bears reached the State Title Game, where they lost in a 5-1 final.

"We can't take any team lightly," Mayes said. "We have to put our 100% into every single game we play."

And this week in practice, the Bears are doing just that, preparing for Section Two's Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.

"They're definitely competition that we haven't seen so far this year," said senior infielder Chloe Burkhard. "We just have to play our game in order to have a chance to beat them."

Right now, Vestal's game is embracing their senior hitters, Kendall Brady, Adrienne Mayes, Chloe Burkard and UConn commit Cat Petteys...

"I never really realized how much playing around certain people can make you a better player," Petteys said. "But playing with this group, I just I don't think I'll ever forget it. And it's something that I'll always cherish. And these people are just really special and getting to play with them and getting to hopefully win with them will just mean everything."

And those seniors who have been to the chip, are calming the nerves of the team's younger contributors.

"With the younger players, we're just trying to get them to understand it's just another ball game," said head coach Vickie Sax. "If you work hard in practice, you build your routines, you build your muscle memory, then all you're going to do game day is have a uniform on and just repeat. That's it."

And the last piece of the puzzle is Reilly Storer's pitching, giving up just one run over Vestal's last three games.

"I think definitely in my first few years, I worked against the nerves and I think that's kind of what made me feel for short back in the past," Storer said. "So just trying to work with the nerves and knowing that I am going to be nervous, but my teammates have my back and that we can do this."

This being a championship, the first in Vestal softball's history.

"It would mean everything honestly," Storer said. "End with a bang," Brady said. "Senior year, to go out with a state championship would just be insane," Petteys said.

The Bears will play Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake on Friday at 3 pm in Long Island. If Vestal can win, they will play the winner of Clarence vs. Kennedy on Saturday at 1 pm.