TOPEKA (KSNT)- Washburn Rural softball enters the 6A state tournament at 21-1 overall.

They’re hoping to bring a state title back to Topeka for the second year in a row after the Lady Trojans won it last season.

It’s the first season as head coach at Rural for Elizabeth Stover, but that didn’t stop her from leading the Lady Blues to the top spot in the 6A state tournament. However, she hasn’t done it alone. A group of veteran leaders have been a big help along the way.

“We have a great core of senior leaders,” Stover said. “We have a great core of juniors. You could that, sure, I lead the team but I’m not the one out there making the plays.”

The Lady Blues watched Topeka High win state a year ago, a feeling that they say provided plenty of motivation.

“Them winning state last year then us obviously beating them earlier in the season also really sparked our want and our need to go out there and get that done because we obviously want to share that fame,” junior pitcher Emmerson Cope said.

While it was hard to watch another team from town win it all, it also gave them confidence that they can be next.

“We want that to be us obviously but just to see that someone from our own hometown can win it that means that we definitely can too,” senior shortstop Campbell Bagshaw said.

After a hard fought win in the regional championship this group travels to Shawnee for the state games as confidence as any.

“We’re feeling pretty good right now after regionals,” Bagshaw said. “We had to play a tough team in our regional championship. Getting a pretty solid win over them helps us gain confidence for this weekend.”

With that confidence comes composure and humility.

“They’re calm, they’re collected and again they’re just taking things one step at a time,” Stover said.

Bagshaw knows lack of focus could end their season.

“We know that all the teams are good so we have to play our best or else we’re going to go home,” Bagshaw said.

The Lady Blues are a close knit group. They’re not ready to be done playing together just yet.

“None of us want to be done. I’ve played with some of these girls since I’ve been in tee ball. This could be our last week together. We don’t want to go home on a sad note, we want to go home on a high note.”

Washburn Rural plays Blue Valley on Thursday, May 26 in the state quarterfinals. For a full list of upcoming quarterfinals games for soccer, baseball and softball teams in the area click here.