By Kyle LoJacono
Courtney and Meghan Durbin were picked for the Queen of Diamonds Softball Showcase South, making them the first Sunlake High student-athletes to participate in the event for top players.
“They sent an email and kind of tricked us into thinking we weren’t picked at first,” Courtney said. “It said, ‘Many of you will learn that delivering the not so good is the toughest job.’ I was disappointed, but I kept reading and it said, if you’re reading this you were picked. I was so excited.”
Courtney read the email before Meghan.
“My mom told me to check my email and I was really upset when I started reading it,” Meghan said. “When I found out it was a joke, I was literally jumping for joy.”
The showcase is during September at Winthrop University in South Carolina.
The Durbins, who are seniors, are two of 2,000 players from the United States and Canada who applied for the showcase. The 264 selected were picked based on their ability, academics, leadership and community involvement, according to event spokesman Kirt Whiteside.
“It’s a great honor to be picked because it’s about more than just softball,” Meghan said.
The fraternal twins have identical grade point averages (GPA) of 4.138, putting them in the top 5 percent of their class.
Courtney said she is interested in history and science classes and plans to go into athletic training or physical therapy. Meghan enjoys reading/writing and history classes, but is unsure what career to go into.
The duo made the Sunshine Athletic Conference (SAC) all-academic team for participating in at least two sports and maintaining a 3.2 GPA as juniors. Meghan is also a libero on the Sunlake volleyball team, while Courtney was on the girls weightlifting squad.
As for school involvement, Meghan and Courtney are members of the National Honor Society, Key Club, Class of 2012 Leadership Club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
The girls also volunteer for the American Cancer Society and Relay For Life, Miles for Moffitt Race, Metropolitan Ministries, the Land O’ Lakes Food Bank, Treats for Troops and the Baldomero Lopez VA Nursing Home.
“Everyone has a point in their life when they go through a rough patch,” Meghan said. “My family has been there when my mom (Kay) had cancer, and I feel like you should always help people out because you don’t know what they’re going through. I feel as a person you should always give back. It’s going to be worth it for the people you help.”
Kay recovered fully from the breast cancer, but that scare altered the way the Durbins see life.
“Our mom had cancer when we were 8 years old,” Courtney said. “When she was at Moffitt for treatment we saw so many people who went out of their way to help. It made us want to give back.”
Softball has been as important to the twins since the then 7-year-olds first started playing at Land O’ Lakes Little League.
“We’d been doing gymnastics and wanted to try something different,” Courtney said. “Our mom and dad (Steve) both played in college, so we wanted to try it. I like the competition and that anyone can play no matter how big or small they are.”
Meghan said it’s the game play that keeps her interested.
“Whether it’s a hit, running to a base or throwing a pitch, you always have to give everything for that one moment,” Meghan said.
Meghan plays second base and pitches for Sunlake, but is a left fielder for her travel team and in the showcase.
“I love outfield,” Meghan said. “For high school I play wherever coach asks me, but for travel ball I love playing outfield.”
Courtney is always an outfielder.
The sisters play for the Stealers Gold 16U travel club, which is made up of girls from across central Florida. The Durbins helped the squad win the Florida Armature Softball Association of America (ASA) State Tournament on Father’s Day weekend this weekend, earning a trip to nationals in Tennessee in August.
During the 2011 high school season, Courtney had a team-high 15 steals while batting .460 with 40 hits, 34 runs scored, 25 RBI and 13 doubles. She made the SAC east first team and the All-Laker/All-Lutz News second team.
Meghan had a 9-1 record as a pitcher with a 1.52 ERA and while batting .393 with 24 hits, 18 runs scored, 14 RBI and three doubles. She made the All-Laker/All-Lutz News first team. Sunlake went 19-4 in 2011, but was upset in the quarterfinals of the Class 4A-District 8 tournament.
The sisters are currently preparing for the showcase, ASA nationals and their senior year. Their schedules are almost always packed, but both agree it is worth it.
“We both put a lot of time in with school and volunteering, but this showcase shows it’s worth it,” Meghan said.
–All stats as recorded to Maxpreps.com by coaches.
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