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By GOOSE LINDSAY
College coaches are always looking for good athletes with good fundamentals to help their program win. Roane State softball head coach Sue Niemi found just that last week when she signed Rockwood twin sisters Kwan and Kat Bazel.
“I really like their athleticism and they’re pretty fundamentally sound,” Niemi said. “Like all players they still have some things to work on, but they seem to be very coachable and I like the fact they’re coming from a successful program.”
For the Bazels, getting to play college softball is a dream come true.
“I’m really happy,” Kwan said. “This is something we’ve wanted to do since we were little.”
“We always wanted to play college softball together,” Kat added. “We would watch softball on tv when we were little and we said then that we wanted to do that someday.”
“I’m excited that Kat and Kwan get to continue their education and softball career,” Rockwood head coach Jessica Jones added. “I have no doubt they’ll do well. They work really hard in practice and they’re very dedicated.”
Besides a solid work ethic, the twins have talent that comes from being great athletes.
“They’ve both got good hands and that leads to good at bats,” Jones said. “They’ve also got good footwork and that with their quick hands also help on defense.”
Although the twins are identical, there are some differences in their game. Offensively both hit the ball well, but Kat has more power while Kwan is a little faster. Defensively, Kat pretty much roams the outfield while Kwan has played in the infield and outfield this season.
“Anywhere they need me to play I’ll play,” Kwan said. “I judge the ball well and I’ve got pretty good speed.”
“I’ve got pretty good power,” Kat said. “I’ve also got a pretty good arm on defense and I like to help people improve their game.”
The ability to play multiple positions is another reason Niemi loves the twins.
“Their versatility helps a lot,” Niemi said. “We’re always looking for players that can play multiple positions. That’s an added bonus when you’re putting together your lineup.”
Besides playing together, the Bazel sisters are happy that they will be playing close to home at Roane State.
“I didn’t really want to leave home,” Kwan said. “I wanted to stay close to my family.”
“Staying close to home and having support from family and friends means a lot,” Kat added. “I think a lot of people drop out when they leave home and don’t have support.”