Bryana White’s last position change came as a challenge. Moving from first base to full-time catcher for the Northwestern Warriors softball team meant a larger leadership role taking charge of the entire field.
The experience should help White with her newest – and even more demanding – position. White, who graduated from Northwestern this spring, is training to be a 911 dispatcher.
“There will be a lot of emotions within the job. I think it’ll be challenging to know exactly what’s going on in the community I live in,” White said. “There are going to be some things I wouldn’t expect, but I think I’ll be able to handle it.”
Just like she did behind the plate. White was recently named the Clark County Softball Player of the Year, sponsored by the Clark County Baseball Hall of Fame and the board of directors.
White was one of three Warriors selected for the first team, along with senior Miranda Gillman and senior Hannah Weymouth. Southeastern’s Randy Delaney was named the Clark County coach of the year.
The Clark County baseball and softball teams were idle for the past few years before the Clark County Hall of Fame resumed them this spring.
White led Northwestern with a .461 batting average, 35 hits, 18 runs, 22 runs batted in, 17 doubles and six home runs. Those doubles were more of a product of her power than her speed, she jokes.
“I’m super slow. I really pushed myself to work on my hitting and this year it really came through,” White said. “Ever since my freshman year I worked to gain more power with my swing. It just improved through the years.”
She also provided a boost as Gillman’s battery mate, including during summer ball in recent seasons. Gillman went 11-10 overall with a 3.24 earned-run average. She also had 108 strikeouts in 123.1 innings pitched.
“What made Bry so important for our program,” said Northwestern coach Missy Johnson, “was she demonstrated leadership from the first day she stepped onto the field as a freshman until her final game as a Warrior.
“In the classroom and throughout the school, she showed the same leadership qualities as on the playing field.”
When Jenna Robbins graduated in 2018, Gillman took over as the Warriors’ main pitcher putting White behind the plate. White played first base last season.
“It’s a really tough position. You have to pay attention to everything, every little detail,” White said of playing catcher. “You see the entire field so you have to keep your teammates focused and allow them to know exactly what’s going on in your mind, as in where the next play needs to be.”
Northwestern went 12-13 overall and 7-9 in the Central Buckeye Conference Mad River Division under Johnson, who retired after the season.
White, the daughter of Paul and Paula White, started playing softball around 4-years old, following in the cleats of sister and 2013 Northwestern grad Megan. Older sister Angie also played softball for the Warriors. White is the youngest of five kids, including brother Brandon and sister Brooke.
“My sister Megan played since she was about five or six,” White said. “Every time we went to one of her tournaments I would take a glove, a bat and a ball and my dad would go on an empty field and play with me. Ever since then I’ve always played.”
White’s softball these days is playing on a co-ed team with Megan at Lagonda Park. She planned on attending Urbana University to major in criminal justice before deciding on a career as a 911 dispatcher.
If her softball career is any indication she’ll have success in her new field, too.
“Something that made her so valuable to our program was her knowledge of the game especially behind the plate,” Johnson said. “Whether it was calling the pitches, letting our pitching staff know mechanically what they needed to improve on in order to make their pitches break, or calling time and walking out to the mound to settle everyone down.”
In addition to Northwestern’s three first-team players, Shawnee had three players (Paree Furness, Hannah Beers, Reagan Simpson), Kenton Ridge (Jordan Rucker, Lexee Trainer) and Southeastern both had two players (Avery Shepherd, Autumn Jones). Northeastern (Emma Wiseman) and Springfield (Taryn Freer) each had one.
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