Throughout her first three seasons as a high school student-athlete, there have been very few players that have been more consistent from the circle across the Southern Ohio area than Maggie Whitman.
That was proven when Whitman, who is a rising senior standout at Notre Dame, took home Division IV All-State Honorable Mention marks for the second straight season in a row.
For Whitman, obtaining the accolade not only once, but twice, speaks volumes to the kind of support that the senior-to-be has had throughout her playing career.
“It’s a huge honor,” Whitman said. “Not everybody gets to even play competitive softball, let alone make an All-State team, so I feel really blessed and honored.”
Whitman, however, is a great representative for how the game of high school softball should be played. In fact, she’s been named as an All-SOC and an All-District type talent in each of her first three seasons of softball action, in addition to the two Division IV Honorable Mention All-State accolades from the Ohio High School Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association (OHSFSCA). She’s also thrown a perfect game, which was accomplished when the junior collected the feat against Chillicothe Huntington as a sophomore in 2016.
This year, however, Whitman was assisted by another up-and-coming pitching talent across the region in Cassie Schaefer. The pair led the Titans to a 17-7 record and a runner-up finish in SOC I competition, with Whitman winning nine affairs on her own as the team’s No. 1 starter.
“It’s a relief,” Whitman said. “Over the past two years of my high school career, I’ve been the only one to really pitch, so it’s nice to have Cassie backing me up and helping me out.”
Much of Whitman’s guidance on the mound can also be credited to her father, J.D., who serves as Notre Dame’s head coach. They, along with Sydney Whitman, have made softball into what appears to be a family affair on the surface — though Maggie says that her Dad does an excellent job separating softball from family life at home. Each of the three have also found their own family under the Notre Dame umbrella.
“I love playing under my Dad,” Whitman said. “He really doesn’t treat me like I’m his daughter on the field. He just pushes me, and our entire team, to be better than everybody else, which helps a whole lot. I also love being a part of the Notre Dame softball system, in general. Everybody picks each other up, everybody treats each other like family, and there’s really no issues from a team standpoint. We all get along pretty well.”
And as with every year, there are always high expectations within the Notre Dame softball system. Despite graduating Hagen Schaefer, Makayla Hadsell, and Catelynn Ball, among others, from the 2017 squad that finished 17-7, Whitman feels confident that their production will be adequately replaced.
“I’m actually pretty comfortable because I know that we have a strong freshman class coming up,” Whitman said. “We’re really going to miss each of the seniors and what they brought to the table, but I believe that the freshmen will really be able to step up nicely next year.”
Which is why Whitman — who believes that a Division IV District Championship and a regional appearance in Pickerington is certainly not out of the question — wants to go out with a bang in what will be her final season of high school softball.
“I want to win the SOC I Championship, get to districts, win a district title, and play in a regional tournament,” Whitman said. “I just hope everybody works hard and puts in 110 percent.”
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @ColleyKevin7