Six times before 2008, the Arizona State Sun Devils have made it to the Women's College World Series -- and each time they loaded the bus before the championship series.
This year is a different story.
ASU is one win from hoisting the championship trophy. Knowing that it could be the team to win the school's first-ever softball title is just another incentive.
"We've never won it before," said Katie Burkhart, who pitched seven shutout innings in Monday's 3-0 victory over Texas A&M. "But we've practiced this dream for so long in our heads, and now we've got a chance to play that out."
This is ASU's fifth WCWS in the last 10 years, with its most recent exit being in 2007.
Coach Clint Myers said he feels a little extra drive knowing his team is the closest it's ever been to bringing a softball championship to Tempe, Ariz.
"Absolutely, it's motivation," Myers said. "It's also the last (chance) for our seniors. But the girls expect to be here, and I've said all along that this is our year."
Arizona State's softball counterpart, Arizona, has won eight national championships.
Burkhart said it's time somebody else in the state takes the crown.
"[Arizona] has been here a lot," she said. "But this is what we've worked hard for. We feel like it's about time the Sun Devils shine."
Dave Neuman, an ASU fan from Gilbert, Ariz., said he feels like this is his team's year, despite the lack of experience in the championship series..
"Hopefully, we're going to watch them get their first," Neuman said. "It's a great feeling, and we're excited to be here for it."