The Notre Dame girls softball team got a homecoming befitting state champions Saturday night with a police and fire escort from the Thruway, down Oak Street, east, then west on Main Street and finally down Woodward to the parking lot of their school.
The girls swept two games in Queensbury Saturday to become the state's Class D champions.
It's the third straight year the softball team had a chance at a title and it turned out truly to be a case of the third time's the charm.
"It took a lot of heart and dedication, waking up super early, getting to practice before games, hitting, throwing, the whole thing," Kaylin Young said. "It was definitely worth it."
In the semi-final game, the Fighting Irish beat Hamilton 9-2, but the championship game was much tighter with Notre Dame (19-7) taking a 1-0 victory over Deposit.
"We were the visiting team so I was the lead-off hitter and I got two early strikes," Laurie Call said. "I'm thinking, 'oh, my gosh,' and then I got a single. Then I just remember each time something bad happened, I just had to tell my adrenaline to go back down and make sure I'm focused on the game and not to worry about the state title. It's just another game."
It's the first state title in softball for Notre Dame.
"It means an awful lot to the Notre Dame community and the family that is Notre Dame," Coach Rick Mancuso said. "We're very proud of the girls and we would like to thank the community for coming out tonight, welcoming us as the newest state champions."
The newest state champions were greeted at the Thruway exit by Engine 12 and Ladder 15 of the Batavia Fire Department and three Batavia patrol cars. With lights and sirens, the caravan of players, parents and fans paraded through the city with dozens and dozens of people turning out along Main Street to cheer for the team.
Laurie said the city's greeting was really overwhelming.
"It’s really, finally like all that weightlifting you've been doing, all those pitches you’ve taken in the legs, like everything finally means something and you just kind of want to stop and cry," Laurie said.