Carmichael twins' bond around softball while sharing pitching duties at TLU
By bY CLAY WHITTINGTON - CWHITTINGTON@VICAD.COM
March 26, 2012 at 10:04 p.m.
Updated March 25, 2012 at 10:26 p.m.
For many siblings, sharing is not easy.
But for the Carmichael sisters, it is simply a way of life.
In fact, it is difficult for Megan Carmichael to comprehend playing softball without sharing a roster spot with her twin sister Sarah.
"I've only actually played one game in my whole life without her," Megan said, referring to a high school all-star game. "That one game was just so strange."
"I was like, 'Where is she? Why is she not here?'"
Now, as juniors at Texas Lutheran University, the former Yoakum standouts share more than just a love for the game, they share the same position - pitcher.
Megan is a left-hander with 26 strikeouts in 12 appearances, including 10 starts, while Sarah is a righty, accounting for nine strikeouts, a team-high four wins and one save.
The totals could increase Tuesday as the Bulldogs (10-12 overall) travel to Victoria for a nonconference doubleheader against the University of Houston-Victoria (17-5). The opening game is set to start at 4 p.m.
At Yoakum, the duo played all four years on the varsity squad together, advancing to the regional semifinals in 2007 and 2008 before splitting the district MVP award during their senior seasons.
Sarah primarily played shortstop and catcher during her high school career, but was moved to pitcher once in college because the team was lacking in the position.
And like always, her big sister was around to give her some advice on being inside the circle.
"It's just something I've gotten use to," Sarah said. "If I'm out playing softball, my sister is going to be there.
"I guess I kind of take it for granted now, but it really does mean a lot to me to be able to share that with her. We can talk about the game, talk about strategy, and she has helped me a lot as a pitcher."
Regardless of who receives playing time, the Bulldogs will need to be on top of their game against the Jaguars, who have won 11 of their last 14 games and are ranked eighth nationally in the current NAIA Softball Coaches' Top 25 Poll with an 8-1 home record.
Excluding neutral-site games, Texas Lutheran has struggled on the road this season, winning just once in eight tries.
"We just need to work on our focus and doing the little things, that is what coach (Wade Wilson) has been telling us and, hopefully, we can do that," Megan said.
The Bulldogs have a 5-7 record in American Southwest Conference competition and are looking to gain some momentum heding into stretch of eight conference games over the next two weeks.
"Our goal is to get to our conference tournament," Sarah said. "We want to continue on after our conference season has ended.
"It is going to take dedication and hard work. A common thing is to play down to the level of your opponent, and we need to remember to play at the level we know we can. We're going to have to come out fighting (against UHV)."
Both have the ability to produce big games.
In the 2011 season opener, Megan (3-5 this season) pitched a no-hitter and just missed throwing a perfect game. It was just the ninth no-hitter in school history.
Just over a week ago, Sarah, who has 4-5 record on the season, tossed a two-hitter, allowing just one run in a 5-1 victory against Schreiner.
While the two could have parted ways after high school, there was little doubt the sisters would end up at Texas Lutheran.
As children, the pair would often visit the campus where their parents first met.
It will also serve as the site where the two will eventually split apart.
Although both will complete their collegiate softball careers together, Megan is an accounting major, which requires a five-year degree, while Sarah needs just four years to graduate as a communications major.
"I'll have a year at school that I won't be playing softball and I'm not with her," Megan said. "I'm not looking forward to that at all.
"She's my best friend and my sister. We're really, really close."