Next up at Bat: The Versatile, Megan White
(photo obtained from the Skidmore Athletics website)
Starting t-ball when she was five years old before softball at the age of seven, Skidmore College Freshman Megan White ‘22 was destined to excel at the sport. Almost immediately, she realized her love for the sport, and this passion only grew as the years went on. For White, playing softball is a way to work hard and improve every day.
“Softball is a game of failure, and to constantly play it is tough, but it has made me grow so much as a person,” explained White. “I have learned how to grow from my mistakes and adjust to the constant challenges thrown at me. It has taught me the importance of teamwork, as well as the importance of being a leader. I try to have a positive attitude no matter what happens and hope that mindset travels to the rest of the team.”
Growing up watching college softball and having a dad that played baseball his whole life, it was only a matter of time before White picked up a bat. “I have always had a love for the game, so I’ve known I wanted to play at the collegiate level for as long as I can remember.” Her love for the game fueled her passion to play in college and after careful consideration, she chose Skidmore.
“I was at one time interested in playing Division 1 softball, however I feel as if academics are somewhat put second in those programs. At Skidmore, academics are always put first, and as student athletes, we are always pushed to be not only the best athletically, but more importantly, academically.”
Adjusting to the student-athlete balance of school, sport, and social life is hard for any athlete, regardless of year and talent. Dealing with academic and athletic obligations was something that White had a hard time adjusting to, but after learning time management tips from her older teammates, she realized that communicating with professors about what her schedule is like and asking many questions is essential for success. “Having so many resources provided by Skidmore has made it easier to be successful in school while playing a collegiate sport.”
Planning ahead has also become an essential part of White’s competitive mentality, and has led her to develop a routine for every game. “When on the field, it is important to have a routine I follow, which for me includes running my hand along my visor, stepping forward as the pitcher does, taking two steps forward and hitting my glove as the ball crosses the plate. This routine helps me stay in sync with each play and get ready to field each ball and move quickly to react.”
Although she tries to stay loose and have fun with her teammates, who crack jokes during stretching, White can’t help but feel nervous. Some of these nerves eventually go away and following her routine allows her to lock in and focus on what she needs to do.
“During a game, I have routines for all aspects. When I am up to bat, I have the same routine walking up to the plate and when I’m in the batter’s box, I usually feel very calm and focused; I just step in and stare the pitcher down, then try to watch the ball from her hand to when it crosses the plate.”
Although she usually plays second base, White recently started to play third base more. White’s a “utility player,” meaning that she can play most positions, including shortstop, outfield and catcher. This versatility has proved to be useful, as White recently broke the hit streak record, with a 17-game streak. In the same game, White also tied the consecutive reaching base record with 22. Initially, White did not know she had broken the record, and didn’t learn until the day after.
“I didn’t really keep count of my hits, I was just focused on doing my job each time I was up to bat. I was very excited to have broken the record, and although I left it at 18 games in a row, I hope to keep pushing and either break it this season or in ones to come. The next step is to continue to have quality bats and do what will push the team towards a winning season.”
As a leadoff batter, White’s job is to get a feel for the pitcher, allowing her teammates to see what she is throwing and get on base to start the game. Although the goal when up at bat is to get a hit, it is important to have a quality bat. And while it is very situation based, White’s job includes hitting a sacrifice fly ball, bunting, getting a hit or even walking if that’s what will help the team. “Just learning to be confident no matter the score or how many hits the other team gets has been, and will be, our greatest challenge this season. We have the ability to be one of the best teams, and channeling that through positive attitudes and smart playing is our goal.”
Being apart of a team is a very rewarding and heart-warming experience for most, especially when that team becomes your family. And just like family, a team emphasizes being a family throughout all the ups and downs.
“The thing I love most about this team is the family aspect we have. We emphasize always picking each other up and having each other’s backs. I know that if I make an error or don’t get a hit every at bat, there will always be someone to pick me up, and that is the best thing I could ever ask for in a team.”