Double play: Sisters provide strength, support to softball team

The hum of the crowd echoes across the field to the pitcher. She takes a deep breath before she hurls a softball across the plate. Despite the speed and curve of the ball, the bat makes contact, and the ball arcs through the air…into the waiting glove of the center fielder. The pitcher and center fielder grin at each other before running back toward the dugout as the side is retired. This is a normal occurrence in junior Rebekah Hubachek and senior Emily Hubachek’s life. The sisters have played softball for much of their lives and now play together for Bryan High.

“They both rally around each other and at the same time want each other to succeed,” softball coach Enrique Luna said. “They do a tremendous job of coming together and picking each other up.”

The sisters started their athletic career at an early age playing T-Ball, which eventually morphed into Little League and finally into high school softball.

“Softball is something I’ve always done,” Rebekah said. “I have a lot of fun with it and a strong passion for the sport.”

For Rebekah, Emily’s presence pushes her to play her best and introduces healthy competition on the field.

“I love competing with Emily,” Rebekah said. “We are always super competitive and want to do better, but we also encourage and support one another. This is the first year we have really been on the field together. I know she’s going to pick me up in the outfield and trusts me on the mound.”

Although Rebekah is the younger of the two, she still encourages Emily and motivates her to play to her fullest abilities every time they step on the field.

“Rebekah’s a big role model on the team since she’s a pitcher,” Emily said. “I want to do my best for her out on the field because she’s doing her job on the mound.”

Rebekah and Emily work well together, and their coordination has not gone unnoticed and is an asset to the entire team.

“Emily’s our center fielder, so she’s like the quarterback and is the leader in the outfield,” Luna said. “Rebekah’s our top pitcher right now, so it starts with them. It’s kind of funny that they’re both right in the middle of the field and behind each other every game. It’s helped them develop and become really good softball players.”

Though the girls have both seen improvements with their skills over the years, softball has also taught them the value of teamwork and supporting their teammates.

“Softball teaches you that even though you may not do your best, you still have someone to pick you up,” Emily said. “Since it’s a team sport, the weight’s not all on you. You have teammates who can help you.”

Even though Rebekah was not particularly outgoing last season, she now takes initiative to get things done and has become a leader and someone her teammates can look up to.

“Rebekah, with the help of her sister and other teammates, has really grown in the past year,” Luna said. “Last year as a sophomore, she was still kind of behind the pack and only doing what she needed to do. Now she’s become a great leader for the team.”

Emily has also grown in confidence and maturity throughout her years of playing softball.

“I think Emily’s ready to go to college now,” Luna said. “As a shy little freshman four years ago, she wasn’t quite there yet. To see her develop and grow into the young lady she is now has been a great process to watch.”

The bond between the two girls is evident on the field, and even goes beyond the two of them and impacts the entire team when they begin a game.

“Their development has been tremendous, just seeing them grow from freshmen year to junior and senior now,” Luna said. “I think they have come together as family on the field and it has helped us create a great bond together.”