etbu twins photo

Twin sisters Kaitlin, right, and Kourtlin Hunter cover the corner bases for the ETBU softball team.

Something just feels off when Kourtlin and Kaitlin Hunter aren’t near each other. The twin sisters covering cover the corner bases and always know the other is there, giving each other confidence.

“People actually think it’s weird because we’ve played together for 21 years so they’re like, ‘How is your chemistry so good?’” Katilin said. “I’m like, ‘Well, that’s probably why it’s so good.’ Whenever she has throws a ball, she’ll be like, ‘That was a bad throw but I know Kaitlin’s going to catch it.’ I may not but it’s just the trust we have, it’s good.”

“I played third base and she plays first, so we have a lot of plays that come together,” Kourtlin said. “We just have really good chemistry and we always have people commenting on how good our chemistry is.

“We’ve been working on it for 21 years so it should be pretty good.”

“The only year I didn’t play with her was when she tore her ACL our junior year of high school,” Kaitlin said. “That was different. I had to get used to it knowing she wasn’t on the other corner. It’s all good now.”

The two have played softball together since they were about 4 or 5 years old.

“I was on third one time and she hit a line drive, and it hit me and she didn’t even think about it but she started running toward me and she got called out because for running toward third base instead of first,” Kaitlin recalls of their early days playing together as young children. “It was pretty funny.”

After high school, the East Texas natives played softball at Kilgore College before transferring to ETBU.

“We always wanted to stay together because we have an older sister who played softball too so it’d be really difficult for two parents to go to three different schools,” Kourtlin said.

“So it was ideal for us and everything is easier when she’s around. We’ve been away from each other for three days and it was terrible.”

“I really just wanted to keep playing after we transferred from Kilgore and my dad actually played basketball here and he used to talk about it all the time,” Kaitlin said. “I was like, ‘That school sounds really good.’ He made it sound really memorable and I was really curious.

“Coach (Janae) Shirley and coach (Bill) Galloway started recruiting us and I was like, ‘Oh wow, this is a really good opportunity.’ It kind of fell into place.”

As the two compete on the field, they also compete with each other.

“Whenever I hit first in pregame, as soon as Kourtlin goes in after me, the whole team will say something like, ‘battle of the twins,’” Kaitlin said. “It’s pretty funny. We make a joke of it.

“We do races and workouts and stuff, seeing who’s going to jump further or run faster. It’s pretty fun.”

“People always ask us, ‘So who’s the better one?’ and I’m like, ‘Um, me,’ but it really depends on the day and what aspect of the game we’re talking about,’” Kourtlin offered. “She’s more agile than I am. We’re just completely different athletes but we have the same drive to learn and everything.

“I definitely cannot play first base and she cannot play third. We’re just so different. She’s super flexible. I’ve never been able to do the splits and she can do it at first base and it doesn’t look like it phases her at all and I’m really jealous about that because I cannot do that.”

“It’s been fun having different sets of sisters and seeing how the interact with each other and support each other and get onto each other,” Shirley said.

“We actually found out we’ll have another set of twins next year, so we’ll have two sets of twins and a set of sisters. It’s going to be crazy.”

The twins will look to help lead their Tigers to a win Friday when they host Birmingham-Southern in the NCAA Division II Regional.

“They’ve been working on little stuff all year and they’ve done a great job of carrying stuff over each week and working on things they didn’t do well the week before and doing a better job the next week,” Shirley said.

“If they can continue to grow in that area, I think we’ll have a quality opportunity to be successful.”

First pitch for Friday’s game between ETBU and Birmingham Southern is slated for 7 p.m.