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All-Area Softball POY: How Davis High’s Serena Roth pushed herself to star status in Year 2

2024 Standard-Examiner All-Area Softball Player of the Year

By CONNER BECKER - Standard-Examiner | Jun 22, 2024

BRIAN WOLFER, Special to the Standard-Examiner

Standard-Examiner All-Area Softball Player of the Year and Region 1 co-MVP Serena Roth poses for a photo June 14, 2024, at Davis High School in Kaysville.

The cream always rises to the top.

The 18th-century phrase emerged long before Davis head softball coach Todd Street adopted it as an on-field mantra. This spring, those very words helped Darts sophomore Serena Roth track down Region 1 co-MVP honors and her program's third region title in school history.

Davis and Roth set a far higher bar for themselves this season than last. As a freshman, Roth delivered eight wins during a 14-10 season marred by a gauntlet schedule and a lingering volleyball injury.

Returning blue-chip outfielders Lauryn Hall and Jewel Korth, Davis (19-7, 8-2) had the toolkit Roth needed to flip the switch on her roller coaster freshman campaign and cement herself as one of the state's next-best arms en route to a co-region title.

Roth is the 2024 Standard-Examiner All-Area Softball Player of the Year.

BRIAN WOLFER, Special to the Standard-Examiner

Davis High's Serena Roth delivers a pitch to a Fremont batter on Tuesday, April 30, 2024, in Kaysville.

"Last year, as a freshman, I didn't really know too many people. It was just different," Roth said. "We're all closer together. I don't have to worry about anyone being mad at each other. ... We all have fun with each other and it makes it more fun when you like everyone there."

The script changed, however.

Davis, enduring a pair of 10-run losses to top seed Riverton and No. 4 Pleasant Grove in bracket play, watched its success story find an abrupt end in Taylorsville. Give anybody in Davis' dugout three wishes, and a longer stay at the 6A state tournament would be atop everyone's minds.

Roth, however, returned home from the Darts' season-ending loss to Pleasant Grove with a confidence and swagger she didn't have a year ago.

"I think that was kind of a stepping stone," Street, who just finished his fifth season, said. "Getting put in stressful situations, finding some success and having some failures her freshman year helped her grow."

BRIAN WOLFER, Special to the Standard-Examiner

Standard-Examiner All-Area Softball Player of the Year and Region 1 co-MVP Serena Roth poses for a photo June 14, 2024, at Davis High School in Kaysville.

Roth finished her second season of prep ball with a team-best 3.68 ERA and 117 strikeouts (28th in the state). In 25 total appearances, Roth won four of her last five starts en route to a 14-2 record as a starter.

Additionally, Roth finished the year batting a team-high .385 at the plate with eight RBI, including the go-ahead run needed to defeat Weber High 8-6 to secure the region championship.

A 32-year coaching veteran, Street credits his defense, as well as freshman reliever Cambell Christensen, with setting the stage for Roth's memorable season.

Three Darts -- seniors Rayleigh Starnes (.994 fielding percentage), Jada Chilton (.964) and junior Katie Klaumann (.973) -- ranked amongst the top 10 fielders in Region 1.

In Street's view, Davis' reliability behind the circle gave Roth the assurance she needed to take risks and create clutchworthy results for a team that had her back all season long.

"The good players, you can see them make a jump every year," Street said. "I'm hoping that Serena does this year to next year.

"She played incredibly all through the region this year and had a couple of good games at state, but I'm hoping she can be even stronger at state next year with her work ethic and desire to get better ... I'm excited about that."

If Street has his way, Roth will rise a little closer to the top next spring.

Connect with preps reporter Conner Becker via email at cbecker@standard.net and on X @ctbecker.

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