Laura Bastian sits in an unique place amongst her teammates on the Warrior Run softball team. The sophomore second baseman has already been a part of history and a state champion at the rural school in Turbotville.
In fact, Bastian has been part of a PIAA champion twice.
Bastian's championship pedigree comes from being a member of the Warrior Run girls soccer team - the two-time defending PIAA Class A champions.
Just two years into high school, Bastian, who also plays on the Warrior Run basketball team in the winter, has faced the pressure of standing in an uniformed line with her teammates while listening to the national anthem and looking into a sea of blue and white fans wanting just one more victory.
Bastian expects to see the same support at 3 p.m. Friday afternoon when the Defenders play District 7 third-place team Neshannock for the PIAA Class AA softball title at Penn State University, but warns her teammates to keep their focus on the field.
"I'll tell them to relax and don't pay attention to the crowd around and just go out there and play like you do every day," said Bastian, who had two hits in Monday's 14-1 win over Nanticoke.
Sound advice from a player looking for her second state championship this school year and a third one in two years.
Bastian, a second-team PHAC-II all-star in the backline for the Defenders in the fall and the lone soccer player on the softball team, and her soccer teammates have been a bit of an inspiration to the softball team. The softball players share the same hallways with the two-time state champions, have seen the banner that depicts the accomplishment with every team member's name on it, have seen the championship shirts and have heard of the celebrations.
One more win and the softball Defenders (24-2) can print their own banner and shirts and sit atop a fire truck and receive the same adulation that has been reserved for late fall in the Warrior Run community.
"It would be pretty awesome to get two state titles in one year," said senior shortstop Carisa Swartz.
During the last two falls, the Warrior Run soccer team won back-to-back state titles with younger girls in the stands wearing their soccer jerseys from the Warrior Run AYSO or Warrior Run Soccer Club programs. Junior first baseman Jackie Clemens hopes her softball team can have a similar effect on the Little League Softball program most of the current Defenders participated in and had great success at the all-star level.
"It's amazing because now it's not just the soccer team that is doing it," said Clemens, who had six RBIs, including a three-run home run, on Monday. "It's the Warrior Run softball girls that are doing it, too.
"Them winning motivated us a lot and now we want to keep going, so we don't have just one sport doing it. We want to have more than just one, so more girls when they're older will come play, too."
Warrior Run had never won a team state title before the girls soccer team went 21-4-1 and defeated Sewickley Academy, 4-0, in the 2010 state championship game, and now the school could finish an unprecedented run with a third one in two years on Friday.
"This means more than anything right now," said Swartz. "We've never done this good, ever."
The same thing was once said about the soccer team.