WEST PORTSMOUTH — After a Division III district championship and Region 11 final appearance last year, the Portsmouth West Lady Senator softball team is out to prove their 2022 season was just the beginning.

Their ‘22 campaign saw Coach Dani Coleman’s group compile a 26-3 record, the program’s first district title since 2015, and a Region 11 runner-up finish.

And to add to their possibilities, West graduated a lone senior from last year in catcher Abie Boland.

Senior pitcher Sydney McDermott — a two-time all-Ohioan by the Ohio High School Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association (OHSFSCA) and Valparaiso University signee — discussed how West’s trip to the Elite Eight last year set the baseline for their hopeful achievements heading into her senior year.

“We just bring a lot of experience. Not just myself, but also my teammates,” McDermott said. “We accomplished a lot of things last year, continuing and building off that success is a focus.”

Juniors Emily Moore and Kate Rollins, whose big bats showed up in a major way during their postseason run last spring, discussed their team’s mindset heading into their season opener on Monday (March 27) at South Webster.

West junior shortstop Emily Moore (23) delivered for her team at the plate last season, hitting clutch home runs for the Lady Senators in their Division III district championship win and Region 11 final appearance.

Ed Litteral | Daily Times

“Not only do we have the best pitcher, our defense is pretty solid,” Moore said. “We’re really solid throughout the lineup and defensively. Our mindset is good coming into this season after the run we had last year.”

“Our pitching’s really good. We love each other like a family, we’re really close,” Rollins said. “That makes getting ready for the season a lot easier.”

West’s successes last softball season carried over onto the hardwood this year as the Lady Senators girls basketball program won the SOC II championship, a district championship, and were Region 11 runner-up — all of which were program firsts.

Junior Emma Sayre discussed how playing in big games and having big moments in multiple sports have helped prepare their team for the upcoming softball season.

“It gives you a lot of experience,” Sayre said. “In those big games, you’ve got to be ready and having that experience in those big tournament games helps that.”

Those goals include claiming an SOC II championship and Region 11 title McDermott says, which would mean avenging their three losses to defending D-III state champion Wheelersburg.

“Only three losses last year, so we’re looking to avenge those,” she said. “We want to be SOC champs and make it farther than we did last year.”

West has non-league games versus Greenup County (Ky.), Gallia Academy, Rock Hill, Peebles, and two games in the Boyd Co. Tri-State Showcase in addition to their SOC II slate.

The Lady Senators have two seniors: McDermott and Kylie Osborne, who will be their starting center fielder.

Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2023 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved