by Dave Boehler
Beacon Sports Editor
On the softball diamond, North seniors Abby and Ashley Thaves have been inseparable.
On their college campuses, the fraternal twins will be 2,000 miles apart in a few months since Ashley will be at Grand Canyon University and Abby is attending Northern Michigan.
“Right now, we’re okay,” Abby said. “But definitely when the time comes, we’ll definitely be sad because that’s like the first time we’ll be that far apart from each other doing our own thing. Just because we’ve been doing everything with one another since like the day we were born. It’s definitely going to be weird not having each other around every single day, every minute.”
Since their first season in softball as youngsters, the Thaves have played on the same team every year but one – and that was because one club team needed a catcher two years ago.
“That was extremely hard,” Ashley said.
Sometimes it’s hard for coaches to tell them apart.
One time, Ashley was supposed to be in the outfield and Abby was in the infield. But someone couldn’t tell the difference between the two and they were in the wrong position.
“We left it that way for a little bit but then obviously told them,” Ashley said. “That was always a memory for me because I thought it was funny.”
Golden Raiders coach Chris Lenz says it is easy for him to tell them apart, but knows their personalities are very different.
He says Abby will tell you how it is. Ashley will just kind of roll her eyes at you and has a different sense of humor.
“To me, they are worlds apart,” he said. “But for somebody that’s not familiar with them, you can definitely tell that they’re sisters. … They have a wonderful relationship with each other. They make everybody around them better. They keep things loose when they can and know how to tighten it up when it needs to be. It’s unbelievable what they do.
“The word irreplaceable gets thrown around a lot, but this is true: they are two girls I’m not going to be able to replace. And honestly, it has very little to do with their softball ability. They’re just two of the very best kids I’ve ever had the privilege to coach. They’e truly irreplaceable.”
The Thaves recently wrapped up their third season on varsity – third baseman Abby led the team with a .462 batting average and five home runs, catcher Ashley had a team-high 10 walks – and were the only two team captains as seniors.
The pair, who even warmed-up together at practices and games, will also be on the same team in the WFSCA All-Star Game in July.
The twins had intentions of going to college together when they were young, but they eventually realized they had differences and wanted to experience something new.
“I think it’s all for the best and it’ll always be a memorable experience being together, and it was so rewarding,” said Ashley, who will study nursing.
Added Abby, who is going to college for pre-dental: “We joke around about how I’m going to be visiting all the time because she’s not going to want to leave the hot weather and I’ll always leave the cold weather to see her.”