Last year at the final City College home softball game of the season there were two spectators in the stands that unknowingly would catapult this years squad.
Joan and Laura Cannon- who are not only sisters, but also twins, have blasted onto the scene in their first season by anchoring a team that has started the season 4-1.
The 19-year-old twins hail from Berkley, California and originally came to City College for an education and did not plan to pursue softball.
“It’s weird not playing softball after you have played for so long, Joan said. “We really missed competing and being on a team.”
This season 5-foot-7-inch Joan Cannon is batting .600 and has six stolen bases, which is more than the rest of the team combined. While 5-foot-6-inch Laura Cannon has batted .300 and raked in a team-leading four RBI’s.
“They bring heart, determination and dedication to the team everyday,” teammate Lindsie Holloway said. “They never slack off and they are always pushing themselves.”
Ironically the twins bring two different skill sets to the softball diamond.
Laura, who’s older than Joan by 40 minutes brings a defensive presence and plays middle infield, while Joan is a speedster and bats leadoff.
“Laura has been very solid on the infield and has increased her lateral range,” head coach Paula Congleton said. “Joan is very quick and gets a fantastic read on the ball right off the bat.”
When asked who the other twin emulates in the MLB, Joan stated Laura mirrors Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees and Laura believes Joan competes like Carl Crawford of the Tampa Bay Rays.
The duo have been tearing up base paths and mashing softballs since the third grade-on the same team each year.
They are also the first in their family to play sports at the collegiate level.
“Our brother played baseball so it influenced us to start playing softball when we were younger,” Laura said. “When we were younger, there weren’t a lot of sports to choose from.”
Joan and Laura both attributed the team’s early success to the depth of a young lineup, which has only four sophomores compared to 14 freshmen on the roster.
“I think there is a lot of potential on the team, we are strong one through nine,” Laura said. “There is loads of talent and everyone gets along really well.”
Softball wasn’t the only sport these twins played growing up. They were on their high school’s Varsity basketball team and played in the winter during the softball offseason.
With their infrequent and hard to come by free time Joan and Laura enjoy cooking, going to a local cafe for some fresh java, or reading a good novel.
Although twins are few and far between, this isn’t the first time the Vaquero softball program has seen twins on its roster. Beth and Beck Lane played under Congleton in her second season as City College Skipper.
“Twins are a rare commodity,” Congleton said. “So its fun to have them on the team.”
They both plan on transferring to four-year universities and will try to walk onto the softball programs, while this year they plan on launching the team into the playoffs
“They are amazing teammates,” Holloway said. “They always work hard and can pretty much play any position.”
The Vaquero softball team will look to better its three game winning streak when they host the College of the Canyons at 2:30 p.m., Feb. 25 at Pershing Park.