SYRACUSE – Few, if any high school softball players in Central New York could rival the impact made by Sydney O’Hara.
At Cicero-North Syracuse, O’Hara was part of a dominant run for the Northstars that included the 2013 state Class AA championship.
Then, at Syracuse University, O’Hara continued to shine, setting records both at the plate and in the pitcher’s circle before making a quick and smooth transition to the coaching ranks.
Now, though, O’Hara has made her way back to her alma mater, SU announcing last week that she has accepted a spot as an assistant coach to Shannon Doepking charged with working with the team’s pitchers and many other parts of the program.
“Words cannot describe what it means to me to wear the orange and blue again,” said O’Hara. “It has always been my dream to return to Syracuse University to share my knowledge and passion for the sport of softball.”
After graduating from SU, O’Hara spent the 2017-18 season as an assistant coach at Le Moyne College. Then she went to Binghamton University where, for three years, she worked with pitchers and handled many other tasks from recruiting to travel to organizing camps.
Right after capturing that 2013 state championship at SU, O’Hara went to SU and, as a freshman, garnered first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors as she batted .333 with 14 doubles, four home runs and 26 RBIs while winning 16 games as a starting pitcher and earning 159 strikeouts in 153 2/3 innings.
Later, in 2016, O’Hara shined as a relief pitcher with a program-record five saves, a mark she broke during her sensational senior season with the Orange when she recorded six saves.
At the plate in 2017, O’Hara batted .476, still a single-season SU mark, with an .833 slugging percentage, nine home runs, 42 RBIs, 10 doubles and four triples. She also won nine of her 12 pitching decisions, striking out 128 batters in her 71 2/3 innings in the pitcher’s circle.
This earned O’Hara her second first-team All-ACC honor to go with her third Louisville Sluger/NFHCA All-Region selection. All told, she has top-10 numbers in 20 different statistical categories.
O’Hara won 31 games in four season with SU against 22 defeats, recording 17 complete games. She batted .348 overall with 33 doubles, eight triples, 95 walks, 28 home runs and 132 RBIs while gaining a .583 slugging percentage.