STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Lauren Scarpato had told Springfield (Delco) softball coach Todd Odgers earlier in the week that she was going to hold him to his promise.
As Scarpato stood on the field at Nittany Lion Softball Park with a gold medal hanging around her neck Friday - the Cougars having just defeated Bethlehem Catholic, 3-0, to win their first PIAA Class AAA championship - one thing was clear.
Odgers made good on that promise.
And the senior third baseman held up her end of the bargain, too.
The promise was made six years ago, with Lauren Scarpato in the sixth grade. Odgers, at the time her math teacher, told her that Springfield would win a state championship sometime in her four years with the program.
On the morning of graduation, with Scarpato's time at Springfield winding down, the Cougars finally did it.
"It is a big day today," Scarpato said. "It's surreal, honestly."
The big day started in the third inning, when Springfield scored all three of its runs.
Courtney Scarpato, Lauren's sister, and Taylor Winkelman hit back-to-back singles to start things off, and Tori DePietro reached base on a throwing error by Bethlehem Catholic.
Courtney Scarpato scored on the overthrow, putting Springfield (23-4) up, 1-0. Then Lauren Scarpato ripped a double, knocking Winkelman and DePietro home.
"That felt great," Lauren Scarpato said. "I just wanted to get those runs in. A single would have been perfectly fine, but I'll take the double."
Springfield's defense did the rest of the work as junior pitcher Courtney Scarpato forced 15 ground outs, seven of which she fielded herself.
"I got a lot of ground balls, and that's what I relied on to get my outs," Courtney Scarpato said. "It was crazy. I usually don't get that many balls back to me, but I like when they are back to me because then I can control what happens."
The Cougars headed back to school, expecting a police escort in Springfield that they hoped would get them to the 6 p.m. graduation on time.
"It is the most amazing feeling ever," senior designated player Kaity Baumann said. "We just won the state championship. We are going to graduation. There is nothing else that can make it better right now. It is just so exciting."
Scarpato, Baumann, and the rest of the Springfield seniors decided they weren't changing out of their uniforms for the big ceremony, just putting their gowns over top. As for the new hardware, the gold medals would be draped around their necks.
Springfield (D) 003 000 0 - 3 5 1
Bethlehem Catholic 000 000 0 - 0 5 1
WP: Courtney Scarpato. LP: Elyse Cuttic. 2B: S-Lauren Scarpato.