Any opponents facing the Vaquero softball team this season, whether they’re playing offense or defense, be prepared with your bats and gloves. The team has great players and among them are a pair of sisters that have been unleashing some real heat against opponents.
Kristin and Trista Carr have been playing softball ever since they were too young to even join a team. “When we turned four, our mom used to play catch with us,” said younger sister Trista, 18, of their mother Darlene, who also used to play softball in high school. “Ever since then, we’ve been playing non-stop.”
So if you do the math, that’s plenty of years of experience.
The experience shows if you happen to watch the Carr sisters play on the field. They have been working their opponents hard with their arms as well as their bats. The graduates from Burbank’s John Burroughs High School, both pitch and play first base for the Vaqueros; they have surely given other teams a challenge when either of them is pitching.
Kristin may have never got the chance to pitch or throw a softball at all if it wasn’t for her determination. When she was ten-years-old, she broke her right elbow doing cartwheels on her front lawn and doctors told her news she never wanted to hear.
“The doctors told me I might not ever be able to straightened my arm all the way out,” said Kristin.” I was so sad and frightened.”
Kristin worked hard on trying to straighten her arm and practiced her throwing everyday with her mom; she eventually regained her throwing abilities. Her skills are being used now to help the Vaqueros get some wins.
“Even though Kristin is mainly a catcher and a first baseman, she has given up a lot and has filled in the gaps for us a pitcher,” said head coach Dave Wilder. “That shows she’s a team player.”
But what stands out most about Kristin and Trista is their tremendous hitting ability and power.
When they are up to bat, they will likely have their opponents running from right to left trying to dodge their hits. Occasionally the defense will run all the way to the back fence just to see the ball go over their head and right over the fence.
This was the case in the doubleheader game against Mission College earlier this month when Kristin, who is leading the Western Conference with seven home runs, hit not one, not two, but three home runs in two games. This is quite an accomplishment, considering it’s not heard too often of players hitting a home run in the game of softball, let alone three.
Trista has also been doing really well for the Vaqueros. Despite being injured for most of the season, she is leading her team with the highest batting average and is one of the top hitters in the Western Conference.
“Trista has been injured for a lot of the season but has gutted it out and has came through for us when we’ve needed her most,” said Wilder.
So what’s the secret to their success? Practice, practice, practice.
“We go to the batting cage whenever we can to get some practice,” says Kristin, 21, a deaf study major that plans to be a sign language interpreter.
It’s not only practice that makes the Carr sisters great athletes; it is also their desire, heart and love for the game that makes them look good doing what they love to do. Being grounded and humble helps as well, says Kristin. “I hate it when players are good and have a big head about it.”
When the Carr sisters are not playing softball, they enjoy shopping, going out with friends, being on the computer and watching television. Some of their favorite athletes include former University of Arizona standout, Jennie Finch, UCLA alumni, Lisa Fernandez, and New York Met, Mike Piazza.
The game of softball will continue to be the Carr sisters’ greatest passion and have promised to continue playing until their bodies allow them to do so. “When I’m old, I’ll probably still be playing in a woman’s league in Burbank or something,” says Trista. “I’ll never stop playing.”
As long as they are still playing, they will continue to give opponents a challenge, amaze spectators with their talent, and even have baseball players asking them for hitting advice.