Devening twins enjoy unique pitcher and catcher relationship
NATCHEZ — If the ball leaves Mollie Devening’s hands when she’s on the pitcher’s mound, she’s hoping her twin sister Kimble catches it.
If Kimble doesn’t catch the ball, it’s either a passed ball or a ball in play. And Mollie prefers strikeouts.
The Devening twins are sophomores for the Cathedral softball team. Mollie is a pitcher and Kimble catches, setting up for a unique sister-sister relationship on the diamond.
“It makes it a lot easier that I know her, because I’m not scared to correct her if she’s pitching poorly,” Kimble said.
“Usually you don’t want to correct the pitcher because you don’t want to make them frustrated, because then they’ll just get worse. But I’m not afraid to talk to my sister.”
And Mollie said the lack of fear works both ways.
“I like pitching to her,” Mollie said. “You don’t have to be scared to ask her something. If I’m pitching badly or I’m in a bad mood, she usually makes me laugh.”
Catching is something Kimble has been doing ever since tee ball, and that’s only because of one particular time when a catcher was needed.
“When we were in tee ball, we had to go to a tournament, and they needed a catcher,” Kimble said. “We didn’t usually play with a catcher, and we didn’t really have anyone, so I said I’d do it. I just stuck with it.”
In addition to catching her sister, Kimble said being a general on the field makes the position fun.
“I like the mental part of it,” Kimble said. “I have to know everything that’s going on, and I have to prepare everyone else for a situation. You’re pretty much the head person on the field.”
Mollie grew up pitching while playing slowpitch, but she said adjusting to fastpitch was a challenge.
“It’s a lot different. Instead of just tossing, it took a lot more practice than slowpitch did,” Mollie said.
And Mollie credited her Dixie Softball coach Rut Horne for helping her adjust.
“If it wasn’t for him, I would for sure not be pitching today,” Mollie said. “He has a lot of patience, and if you don’t practice, he’ll tell you that you need to, or there’s no point in him helping you. He encourages you and makes it fun.”
These sisters don’t do a lot of fighting, but when they do, it’s usually during practice.
“We don’t really get mad at each other in a game,” Mollie said. “At practice, she might get frustrated with me if I’m not pitching well.”
And Kimble said a game is not the time to argue.
“In a game, we can’t really worry about it, because we have to focus on the good,” Kimble said.
Both twins also credit their father Charles Devening for helping them develop as players.
“He’s always there for me to help catch if I need him,” Mollie said.
Charles also relays pitching signs to Kimble during games, Kimble said.
“He makes my job easier,” Kimble said. “He also makes sure we practice. If we don’t practice, he tells us we need to.”