Advertisement
High School sports

Crofton pitcher Kristin White is flying under the radar despite phenomenal performances

As Crofton softball’s notoriety picked up — especially its pitching — junior Kristin White’s math teacher approached her one day and asked, “Hey, who’s the really good pitcher on your team?”

White, who had to carry her team individually in the circle for several weeks, thought about it. Ever humble, she’d said it was everyone — Lynsie Herman, Marley Connor.

Advertisement

White’s name might not be on the tip of the tongue of those in Anne Arundel County’s softball scene, but it soon will be.

Advertisement

“I don’t think even she knows how good she is,” Cardinals coach Sarah Bible said.

When she does, the coach said look out.

In her debut varsity season, White has razed talented batters to the ground, amassing 123 strikeouts in 71 innings, compiling a 7-2 record. She’s held batters to a .172 average, with a 1.68 earned-run average. She’s one of two pitchers who can say they defeated Arundel.

Then there was Thursday.

White took the circle against Oxon Hill, a higher seed, in the Class 3A South Region II quarterfinals and struck out 15 of the 19 batters she faced in a no-hitter.

The feeling that should come with a no-hitter didn’t sink in then and wouldn’t until people congratulated White over and over again in school on Friday. But that achievement, like her year to date, has taken some time to really hit White.

“It’s been a shock, going into this year, but especially because Crofton has a really good softball team, it’s motivation,” White said.

Advertisement

White started a few games and came in as relief in others before her fellow ace, Herman, suffered an injury. The burden now fell predominantly on White in the thick of their season — Chesapeake and Arundel loomed.

She took her duties seriously, icing her arm more than she ever had before. In that first week, White clocked 28 strikeouts in three games, including 11 in her triumph over the Wildcats.

“At first I was really nervous, but I knew I had the responsibility of pitching against those really hard teams,” White said. “It was a lot of pressure — and I’m relieved Lynsie’s back — but at that point, I was focused. I went into leader mode.”

Bible never had a doubt that White could do it. She’d already seen the junior pitcher take on a challenge and beat it.

Through her fruitful junior varsity season last spring, White admittedly struggled to hit her spots. Bible had also harbored concerns that White, as well as her other fledgling Cardinals, would have a tough time adjusting to the varsity pace of play. Over the summer, White dedicated every spare moment she could to churning out pitches for consistency. Though intentional, she didn’t really realize how much work she’d put in.

But now, hitting spots is one of the most characteristic attributes about her, her coach says. That, and her competitive nature. White, Bible said, throws harder when there are runners on base. White typically leads batters in the count, and when she doesn’t, Bible said she retains her composure and regains control. She’s allowed only 25 walks.

Advertisement

A slew of AP exams made White’s wrists sore, and even when Bible shelved her for the day to heal, White clamored to get back in the game, to be put anywhere in the field, at the plate, to help her team.

“She wants to play every inning of every game. She just wants to compete,” Bible said. “Her favorite place to be is the mound, but she’ll play any position because she just wants to be in the game.”

Varsity Highlights

Varsity Highlights

Weekly

Get the latest high school sports stories, photos and video from around the region.

That hasn’t always been a fun place for White to be. Four games into the season, White took the circle in the middle of a disaster, as Chesapeake already posted seven runs on Herman. The Cougars put up another four on White.

In the moment, stress and frustration ran hot through White, who to this point hadn’t experienced anything like this. She knew Chesapeake would be good; Bible knew her young team was sick with nerves in facing the defending 3A champions.

“But now, it’s just something I look back on and it just motivates me to work harder,” White said.

White believes Bible trusted her with tough matchups like Chesapeake, Arundel, Broadneck and Glen Burnie, because she’s earned it.

Advertisement

“I just don’t think they’ve recognized what she’s done,” Bible said. “I think because there’s so many people … and they’re used to familiar faces … and they ignore her because she’s young. But that’s okay. When you face her, good luck trying to hit her.”

As with her spots, White wo rks to recognize her mistakes just after they happen. Her personal improvement from the first Chesapeake game to the second is proof, especially as she approaches her third meeting with the Cougars, Monday in a 3A South Region II semifinal.

“I feel like this game’s definitely going to be different,” she said.


Advertisement