By Brad Morris
CHILLICOTHE — Sydney McDermott showed why she will likely be a three-time All-Ohioan on Thursday in a Division III Southeast District semifinal.
McDermott, a Valparaiso University signee, hit a grand slam to put the exclamation point on a six-run first inning and struck out 15 batters in the circle to lead Portsmouth West to a 7-1 win over Westfall on the campus of Unioto High School.
“McDermott is a stud, not only with her command in the circle, but also with her bat at the plate,” Westfall coach Lance Heath said. “It was tough for us to recover from the six-run first that Portsmouth West had.”
McDermott scattered seven hits and an unearned run in a 133-pitch outing, 90 for strikes, she used to author a complete game.
At the plate, she went 2-for-3, drove in five runs and scored.
“We had a hit here and a hit there, but we had trouble stringing much together and that’s to McDermott’s credit,” Heath said.
Westfall (15-11) reached the scoreboard in its final at-bat of the season.
Madison Kearney led off the inning with a single to left and eventually scored when Delana Landefeld singled to left.
“We took a tough blow early, but our girls continued to battle and compete,” Heath said.
Landefeld led the Mustangs by going 2-for-3 with an RBI, Sophie Henson also turned in a 2-for-3 afternoon with a double and Olivia Dumm had a two-bagger of her own.
The Mustangs lose seniors Makayla Cook, Grace Long, Henson and Dumm to graduation. The senior class won the Scioto Valley Conference and district championships during their sophomore season.
“Our senior class has contributed a lot to our program and they have been fun to coach,” Heath said. “I hope each of them go on and are very successful in life, and I wish them the absolute best.”
West (25-3) returns to Unioto on Saturday to play Ironton for a district title.