New Miami’s Kristyn Riley tags out Cincinnati Christian’s Jessica Fornshell on the way to first base during their softball game April 24, 2017, at New Miami. CCS won 22-14. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Prep softball preview: New Miami hopes to rebound, be part of MVC race

NEW MIAMI — A year removed from a Miami Valley Conference Gray Division championship, New Miami High School’s softball team has its sights set on returning to glory.

First-year coach Ashley Rison has a roster of 18 girls, including six freshmen who will make immediate contributions.

“We keep saying we are going to win the MVC championship like 2017,” said Rison, who also coaches the NMHS girls basketball team. “We repeat it everyd ay and the girls are working hard to make it happen.”

The Vikings have three seniors who are showing great leadership following last year’s 3-11 campaign.

Senior Brooklynn Adkins, Camry Jenkins and Sierra Cavin are those players, and all three will man the outfield this spring. Jenkins was an MVC honorable-mention performer last year.

“Our outfield will be a strength,” Rison said. “We should have a really strong outfield.”

The Vikings graduated all-leaguer Sam Jones, but Kristyn Riley — a second-team MVC honoree — will play first and anchor the infield.

Freshman Kendra Smith will play third base, junior Arielle Scalf is the shortstop, and junior Jaymee Woods will handle second base.

“We are young in the infield,” Rison said. “We are not so strong fielding so far.”

Rison said look for big things out of freshmen Brooklyn Adams and Sydney Reno. The duo play club softball on the same team and will pitch and catch, respectively.

While fielding is a question mark, Rison said the Vikings will hit.

“So far this year, our batting has been excellent,” Rison said. “We have some first-timers on the team, but everyone is hitting well.”

New Miami struggled at times last year, and Rison said her goal is to make sure that doesn’t happen this year.

“We definitely want to have more wins than losses,” she said. “If we work as a team, leave it all on the field and have fun, I think we will win some games. We just have to do all three of those things together to have success.”

In terms of the MVC, Rison said Cincinnati Christian and Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy are always strong, but she believes her bunch can figure in the title race with improved defense.

Filling out New Miami’s roster are freshmen Alyssa Marcum, Alyssa Oshea, Cheyenne Stout, Isabell Doyle and Jillian Procter, junior Jessi Trent, and sophomores Kiona Weber, Kylie Wyatt and Sierra Ivy.

The Vikings open the season Thursday at home against CHCA.