You met Meagan and Morgan Smith one year ago, and they talked about balancing school, their faith, and their first love, softball. The story picks up with the now 15-year-old high school sophomores, who recently verbally committed to Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, to play collegiate softball. How do they feel about having a verbal commitment as sophomores to the Southeastern Conference powerhouse? “Texas A&M was our first choice, and sometimes it’s still hard to believe how blessed we are,” said Morgan. Meagan adds, “This is our dream school. How many kids get an opportunity to play for their dream school? Yes, we really are blessed.” As with any decision, there were multiple factors that went into the sisters selecting Texas A&M. The biggest one centered on their comfort level with the school and the program. Morgan says, “We started to research A&M and its course offerings. We visited the campus a couple of times last year and really fell in love with the Aggie culture. Everyone we encountered was so nice, and we really liked the feel of the campus. When we got to meet Coach Glasco (Gerry Glasco, associate head coach) at a Primetime Softball camp, we really liked his coaching style.” “We also had the opportunity to talk to a current Aggie player, Kristen Cuyos, who is from our county and that helped to confirm for us that this might be the right place,” added Meagan. “After that Primetime Camp, we talked our parents into taking us to every camp that Coach Glasco was going to be at for the next three months, including one that was on the campus of Texas A&M.” Both girls agreed that after the on-campus camp was concluded, they were going to double their efforts to make sure that they could be the kind of players that A&M would want to recruit. The twins’ efforts are appreciated by many other members of the softball community. For example, Curt Williams, an assistant at Bossier Parish Community College, said, “I coached against Meagan and Morgan two summers ago and saw right away their potential for greatness. I am thrilled to know they continued to work hard and their determination and talent has paid off! Texas A&M is not only getting two outstanding ball players, but two awesome young ladies as well.” Haley Outon was an All-America catcher at the University of Houston, where she established the program’s career home run and RBI marks. Outon has been working with the twins on their hitting and catching and has been impressed with their dedication and the progress they continue to make. “Speaking as an athlete and coach, Meagan and Morgan are two players that I would love to have on my team,” Outon said. “They are competitors with a true love for the game. Meagan is a powerhouse offensively with quick hands who can get the ball off the bat in a hurry. Her strong core skill set enables her to be a consistent corner base player on defense. “Morgan is a triple threat from the left side. Her speed around the bases will help her become an on-base threat as well. Defensively, Morgan is resilient and eager to continuously elevate her skills behind the plate. Throughout their youth play, Meagan and Morgan both have demonstrated an understanding that dedication and hard work are essential for success. I am excited to continue following them on their journey as collegiate athletes.” Outon was recently invited to the USA Women’s National Team Selection Camp in January 2016, one of 43 athletes selected nationally. She currently plays professional softball for the Akron Racers during the summer season, and coaches at the private Kinkaid School in Houston, Texas, during the school year. Stefani Schulte is the head coach of the twins’ travel ball team, the Diamond Sports Hotshots 16U, and had this to say about the girls. “I met Morgan and Meagan Smith a few months ago in August when they showed up to try out for my team, the Diamond Sports Hotshots,” Schulte said. “Immediately the girls stood out; their size and pure athleticism separate them from most athletes their age. After seeing their skills during the workout, it was a no-brainer that I wanted to invite them to be part of the organization, and thankfully they accepted. At the end of the audition process, I knew I had a strong group of athletes, the twins being two major components of this brand new team. What I wasn’t expecting was what Meagan and Morgan were going to bring to the team in addition to their softball skills.” Meagan and Morgan may be twins, but they could not be more different. Meagan is a right-handed power-hitter feared by most pitchers due to her ability to send the ball over the fence. She played primarily at third base for the Hotshots, a position that requires her to be on her toes and quick to the ball, but also prepared for the shot down the line coming straight for her. Meagan plays the game with confidence and surety, but even though she is focused, she finds a way to keep her team loose and relaxed. You’ll never see Meagan without a smile; her ability to stay positive and encouraging even at the most intense times helps her teammates more than she probably knows. Every team needs that player at the heart that helps keep everyone optimistic and in the right mindset. “In softball, our mental strength is often more powerful than the physical,” Schulte said. “Meagan proves this day in and day out with her selfless contribution to the team.” Morgan is the exact opposite of her twin sister; she’s a left-handed power hitter with the ability to swing away or slap. Morgan leads off for the Hotshots, usually putting a ball deep in the gaps of the outfield to get her team going. She is a great utility player who spends most of her time behind the plate but is equally comfortable in the outfield or at first base. “Morgan is an undeniable leader for the team,” Schulte said. “She brings a level head and a sense of calmness to the field as well as softball smarts that make her a dangerous opponent. From the moment Morgan steps on the field, it is clear that she means business. She is an intense competitor and valuable leader of our squad.” Most siblings love the idea of playing together, but there are moments when they need their space because frustrations with one another are a reality when you are around someone all the time. Meagan and Morgan are different. They love working together and pushing each other. The girls coach each other in practice and in games, constantly trying to make each other better, but they’re also the first give each other praise during their success. “I’m pleased and proud to see Meagan and Morgan commit to A&M, it’s their number one choice and they’ve worked towards this for so long,” Schulte said. “While the girls feel lucky to be going to their dream school, I know the A&M coaching staff is excited about bringing two talented, unique athletes into their program. The Smith twins are sophomores, and have two years left to grow their games. There is no limit to what these girls can do, especially with the unwavering support they have from one another and their love of the game.” The past few years have been a learning experience for the twins. Both Morgan and Meagan realize playing softball at the collegiate level is a goal many young ladies have. The key, they say, is to work every day to get better. “There is no substitute for putting in the work,” Morgan said. “Know that softball is a game of failure and you will fail sometimes, but if you do the drills, take your cuts like you should and have a plan when you get up to bat, your body will know what to do. We have a laundry basket that holds about 100 balls and my dad says, ‘A basket a day will keep the strikeouts away.’ So I try to hit every day. On the days that I can’t, I take cuts watching my swing in the mirror.” “Keeping yourself motivated is important, and that is something that I am still working on every day,” Meagan said. “That, and how to pick yourself up when you are down. There will be times when you’re being a baller, and there will be times when you don’t do so great, but you have to figure out a way to keep up a good attitude or you won’t be able to hit like you know how to.” The twins agree that having an opportunity to play for coaches Jo Evans, Gerry Glasco, and Joy Jackson is well worth all the late nights, early mornings, and extra practices they’ve taken part in. Their advice to other softball players is to stay disciplined and do the work because it definitely pays off. Despite all of the work they have already put in, both girls are cognizant that their journey is just beginning. They understand that the Texas A&M coaching staff fully expects them to keep growing and maturing as softball players. “Now we have to keep working, getting better, and getting stronger,” says Morgan. Meagan adds, “Yeah, they believe that we can do better, be better, and so we have to keep putting in the work. They have shown such faith in us. We want them to know that they made the right choice.” So if you encounter the Smith (aka “the Wondertwins”) twins at the ballpark, give them a thumbs up sign and say, “Gig ‘em!”
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