BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – When it comes to softball, Sydney O’Hara is pretty experienced with success.
The former Cicero-North Syracuse Northstar was the 2013 New York Gatorade Softball Player of the Year after a stellar senior season that ended with a State Championship.
She then continued her career at Syracuse with much more success. She threw a no-hitter in his first career game against Austin Peay, at the time only the seventh in school history, she became an All-ACC performer, a third team All-American and a NCAA record holder with her four home runs against NC State.
“That still comes up in conversation, a lot of the time” said O’Hara.
Originally O’Hara was recruited to Syracuse as a hitter but after a stellar senior pitching season, was given the chance to pitch and play first base. You can see her name at the top of hitting records at SU, as well as pitching ones. She is the school’s all-time leader in saves with 12 and stills holds the best batting average in a season, hitting .467 in her senior season. For her career, O’Hara had a 3.28 ERA going 31-22 in 343.1 innings. At the plate, Sydney batted .348 with 188 hits, 33 doubles and 28 homers.
“I think throughout my years, I turned into a better pitcher than a hitter. But I had my arm injury my sophomore year (forearm overuse). But me personally, I loved pitching and I did it throughout my entire life. But I loved hitting more than pitching,” said O’Hara.
A playing career filled with memorable moments and experiences.
“The memories that I have with my teammates. I wouldn’t change it for the world,” said O’Hara.
The former standout player has now found her new calling, although it’s not really that new.
“My mom, she sent me this letter that I wrote in high school and I knew I wanted to be a college coach,” says O’Hara.
Part of the letter reads, “Softball is my life and I would like to continue doing something with softball after college. I will probably coach”
The coaching dream began at Le Moyne following graduation in 2017. She then left the falling season for Binghamton where she now enters her third season. Sydney thinks coaching is her perfect position.
“I love coaching, I love being around the game,” said O’Hara. “Every day I wake up and I have chance to inspire players and show my passion and share my passion for the game.”
With the Bearcats she works with the pitchers and catchers and every day is a lesson in how to teach.
“Everyone learns differently. There’s more people you know that I physically have to show them what to do or showing them a video or something like that. Or there’s people that just like ‘hey give me the ball and let me try it’ and I’m like ok,” said O’Hara.
O’Hara does have head coaching aspirations so she just wants to be a sponge for now learning from her head coach Michelle Johnston and more.
“Just being around a bunch of other coaches like when I work clinics and camps and stuff. I always try to learn,” said O’Hara. “It doesn’t matter what division they’re at I like to pick their brains.”
And soon enough she could make another part of that high school letter come true and move down south.
“Eventually when the time comes, I wouldn’t mind venturing out of New York. My ultimate goal is to – later down the road – is eventually get somewhere down south. I like the snow, but it’s just so much nicer in Florida,” said O’Hara.
“I have to work my way up. Just like every other job, you got to build your resume up. I’m trying to learn as much as possible.”