Fairfield senior Kaiti White is pictured in the circle during a home game this past season for the Lady Lions. (HCP Photo/Stephen Forsha)
Fairfield senior Kaiti White is pictured in the circle during a home game this past season for the Lady Lions. (HCP Photo/Stephen Forsha)
Fairfield senior Kaiti White capped off her career with a state honor this postseason, as the four-year starting pitcher was selected first-team All-Ohio in Division III by the Ohio High School Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association.

White was dominant in the circle and at the plate this season, as she was the team leader as both pitcher and batting third in the lineup. At the plate, White batted .500 on the season with a total of 84 at-bats. She scored 33 runs with 28 RBI, five doubles and hit a triple this season.

In the circle, with 26 starts, White finished with an ERA of 1.00 with 286 strikeouts and 12 walks issued during her senior season, finishing with a record of 24-2. Also during the ’19 season, White held her opponents to a .167 batting average.

Last season, White was named second-team Division III All-Ohio as a junior, and during her sophomore season White was first-team Division IV All-Ohio.

For her career, White finished with an overall record in the circle of 84-13 with a 21-3 record her freshman year, 20-2 as a sophomore, 19-6 during her junior season and the aforementioned 24-2 mark as a senior.

Other accolades for White in her career are she’s a four-time All-SHAC selection, four-year first-team All-District honoree and was selected to the 2017 SE District Underclassmen All-Star team.

White is the only pitcher in Fairfield program history to have 20 or more wins in a season, as she achieved the feat three different times. White was also a member of four straight Southern Hills Athletic Conference championship teams, and she was a member of four consecutive district champions, two in Division IV and two in Division III. In three of her four seasons at Fairfield, White was also a member of a team that reached the Elite Eight, finishing as regional runners-up.

All of those accolades and team success have helped her become the most decorated pitcher in the history of the Fairfield softball program, holding nine career pitching records in the program and eight season records in the circle as a member of the Lady Lions.

To speak of the type of player White is, following the district championship game – a game won by the Lady Lions by a score of 8-5 – Fairfield head coach Mark Dettwiller spoke about the toughness of White, as in that game she helped her team battle back from an early deficit.

“I don’t believe there is anyone tougher than Kaiti, mentally or physically, and she’s just a phenomenal kid,” Dettwiller said.

Following the All-Ohio selection of White, Dettwiller talked The Highland County Press about White and what she meant to the team.

“She’s broken many records in our program, and she was a dominant player,” he said. “To show you how focused of a player she is, earlier this season he batting average dropped to below .500, and she had me stay after practice to work with her in the batting cage and take extra swings. That is the kind of drive she has.

“Kaiti is a great kid to coach, and she’s impossible to replace. I can’t say enough good things about her – she’s a great player and a great person.”

In her career records at Fairfield, White is at the top of the list in games pitched (100), complete games (91), wins (84), winning percentage (.866), shutouts (47), innings pitched (601), ERA (1.18), strikeouts (929) and walks per game (.50). White is also second all-time in strikeouts per game in a career with 10.82 at FHS.

The season records held by White are just as extraordinary as her career records, with White leading all Lady Lion pitchers with 24 complete games in a season, winning percentage of .923, innings pitched in a season at 161, season shutouts at 13, season wins at 24, strikeouts in a season at 286 and strikeouts per game at 12.41, all coming in 2019, and walks per game at 0.18 in 2016. White is also second all-time in a season in ERA at 0.87 in 2017.

Not only does White have school records in the circle, but she’s also built records at the plate as well, with program records for a career in games played (101 – tied with Lauren Arnold), at-bats (334), hits (165), batting average (.494) and doubles (40).

Longtime Fairfield assistant coach Tom Purtell spoke about the history of the softball program, plus where White ranks with the best of the best to ever play softball for the Lady Lions.

“The Fairfield Lady Lions softball program is a program of excellence since its first season in 1973, with 21 SHAC titles, nine Gold Gloves, 33 sectional championships, 11 district titles and a State Final Four appearance,” Purtell said. “I have had the privilege of watching every Lady Lions softball team every year since 1973. I have also been blessed to be an on-the-field coach since 1995.

“More than 30 Lady Lions have gone on to play collegiate softball. These include several truly outstanding pitchers: Danielle Holden, Elissa Brooks, Devan Bernard, Lauren Larrick and Arica Melson. Fairfield has produced 14 All-Ohio softball players. Outstanding hitters have included Kay Cummings, Julie Purtell, Tara Roberts, Mandy Shoemaker, Ashley Chain, Mary Holden, Gabby Holden, Shelby Smithson, Grace Larrick and Kaitlin Evans.

“As great as all these players were, Kaiti White is the best Fairfield Lady Lion player to ever wear the uniform,” Purtell continued. “She owns all the pitching records and several hitting records. She has been an absolute joy to coach. She is one of mentally toughest players we have ever had, whether in the circle or in the batter’s box.

“She had the good fortune to play four years with three other talented classmates in Lauren Arnold, Lyndee Spargur and Megan Gragg. Together they won 85 games and only lost 14. I look for her to be successful in anything she chooses to do.”

White is also listed in the OHSAA state record book, as in 2016 she went 118 consecutive innings without allowing a walk. Also for White, she’ll be listed a second time in the state record book as for parts of the past two seasons she amassed a consecutive games hitting streak of 40 games, which would tie her for fifth all-time in the state once approved by the state.

The Fairfield record holder gained her stats by being consistent at a very high level throughout her four seasons as a Lady Lion. In the circle, White never made fewer than 22 starts, she had 10 or more shutouts in each of her four seasons, she pitched at least 129 innings each season, never had an ERA above 1.50, never walked more than 15 batters in a season and had 190-plus strikeouts in each of her four seasons in the circle. Plus, opponents never had a season batting average of over .205 against her in any of her four seasons.

White had at least 74 at-bats in each of her four seasons and nearly 40 hits in each season played too with three seasons of at least 42 hits. She also had three straight seasons of 10-plus doubles and four straight years of 25 or more RBI, including 33 RBI as a sophomore.

Maybe most impressive of all White’s stats was her patience at the plate, as she never struck out more than four times in a season, totaling just 11 strikeouts at the plate for her four-year career, which equaled 334 at-bats. White also had a batting average of .466 or better all four seasons, with a career-best .514 in ’17.