WESTERN HILLS – Western Hills High School left no doubt who the top team was this softball season in the Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference. The Mustangs won nine of 10 CMAC games and won the conference championship for the first time since 2010.
West High clinched the league title with a 1-0 win over Aiken May 7. Its only conference loss came to Oyler, 14-13, in the regular season finale on May 13.
Second-year head coach Amanda Carpenter knew her team, losing just one senior last year, was equipped to make a run at the CMAC title.
“Based on what I knew we had going in, they were very capable of doing what they’ve accomplished,” said Carpenter, who attributed the success to team camaraderie. “Both in and out of school, they’re together. We’ve all become like a little family. They girls are always communicating with each other. They’re a very tight-knit group.”
The Mustangs went from a three-win season last year to a 10-win season this year. When Carpenter took over the program, she saw a change on the horizon.
“I saw it when I walked into the gym and saw them tryout (two years ago),” she said. “When I came on as the head coach, I saw the potential this team has. I was not surprised at all by how (this team) has responded.”
West High’s led by Renee Conners, the only senior on the roster. Conners plays second base, is tough at the plate and dangerous on the base path. Sonja Rembert’s been the ace of the pitching staff for two years now. Carpenter said Rembert’s was runner-up for CMAC Player of the Year in 2014, and she’s hoping takes the title this year. According to Carpenter, Sayanna Jones stepped into a leadership role this year, “She’s come (full circle) from last year to this year. (Jones) can hit, field, if I need her behind the plate, she can go back there and catch for me. She’s doing anything and everything I’ve asked her to do and doesn’t white or cry about it.”
The Mustangs took a giant step in the right direction this season. They’re hoping to keep that momentum rolling.
“I think this team can just continue to build in the off-season and over the fall into next season,” Carpenter said. “I’m excited for what’s to come.”