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Farragut’s Harris sisters have full-time softball jobs


Regularly seen in airports sporting a gun case — and with a recent history of loud banging sounds coming from their residence — perhaps the Harris sisters are big into firearms.

But those loud banging sounds are softballs violently ricocheting off the walls of the family’s garage.

And that gun case is merely a handy carrying device for the sisters’ four softball bats.

“We’re competitive-natured, that’s what makes us good at what we do,” said Stephanie Harris, 17, a Farragut High School senior first baseman named Class AAA All-state and District 4-AAA Player of the Year in 2009.


Megan Harris, 16, an FHS Silver Slugger/Offensive MVP Award honoree last season as a sophomore with a .407 batting average, helped her Knoxville Thunder 93 summer team earn runner-up in American Softball Association Tennessee State Championships. That qualified them for ASA 16U Nationals.

A second baseman for Thunder, Megan also earned first-team All-District 4-AAA with Farragut at third base while claiming two Knox County first-team awards.

Stephanie’s New Jersey Intensity 18 Gold summer team finished seventh among a 64-team field in the ultimate high school softball showcase for top U.S. talent — 18U Gold Nationals — in Oklahoma City, Okla., last month.

“I knew I had to go play the best of the best and have all the coaches look at me,” said Stephanie, who also played third base and outfield for Intensity. “These are the kids going to the biggest schools. I’ve worked hard, I knew I could compete with these kids. I thought I played really well. ... You want to go to the big tournaments where the coaches look at you.

“I was definitely at the same level as all the kids out there. If you can play multiple positions, that is the best scenario. [College] coaches want a complete athlete.”

Stephanie listed six major colleges she’s considering, which includes both a “great softball program” and a strong field of study involving either education or physical/occupational therapy: Tennessee, Virginia, James Madison, Purdue, Kentucky and Ohio University.

Stephanie also sports a 4.1 grade point average. Megan’s GPA is 4.0.

How good is Stephanie?

“She’s the best overall player I’ve ever had, there’s no doubt about there, especially among position players,” said FHS head coach David Moore, who will begin his 20th season as Lady Ads softball skipper this season. “It starts with her work ethic.”

Moore added Stephanie “is pretty good at analyzing what’s going on in game situations ... will make adjustments from pitch to pitch and pass that on to teammates.”

And yet, “Megan may be more of a natural hitter than Stephanie is,” Moore added.

“Megan is just a pure hitter” who has “adjusted well” to playing both third base and second base.”

Megan said, “I like second the best, you get more plays … and you have to cover more ground.”

Megan said she’ll decide on camps involving “top” colleges.

Stephanie knocked in the game-winning run to send Intensity to the 18 Gold Nationals during Heartland Showcase Classic in Blue Springs, Mo. This year alone, Stephanie also played in prestigious national tourneys in Pennsylvania, Colorado, New Jersey and California.

Megan will join Stephanie as a member of the Intensity team this fall in weekend Gold tournaments in Florida and California.

But Stephanie also is going international. The older Harris sister has been invited to play with North American Select Team in “Cup 2010,” held next January in Schiedam, the Netherlands.

They play or train all year. “You gotta do that all year,” Stephanie said. “If you don’t keep working at it and working at it, other people are going to pass you up.”

As for batting practice in the garage, Megan said, “There’s no nets, so there’s lots of holes in the wall. We pull out the cars and we hit the balls.”

But no firearms.

 

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