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From left, seniors Sami Dullum and Stephi Dullum pose for a picture. Photo by Beca Livermont.

Communication and understanding are the key components to any team. Players must be able to help and push each other in order for the entire team to improve. For seniors Stephi and Sami Dullum, however, this bond goes beyond the softball field.

Sami serves as a catcher for the softball team while Stephi pitches, and though they have been playing together since sixth grade, the pair claim in many ways that very little has changed.

"When [Sami] is catching for me it's like nothing else is ever really happening," Stephi said. "It's like we're in the backyard almost."

Along with softball, through the past few years the sisters played basketball and took several classes together.

Although they spend a large amount of time together, each acknowledges that there are significant differences between the two of them.

"We're definitely different," Stephi said, "Sami's more outgoing than I am. I tend to stay back and be quiet whereas she'll talk to whoever."

While Sami is typically recognized as being more social, she believes Stephi's intensity increases when she is faced with competition.

"[Stephi's] very quiet and soft spoken, but she's very aggressive and competitive when she's around something athletic," Sami said.

During practices and games, each sister is constantly trying to help the other improve.

"Throughout games and practices I'm always helping her if I see her form's off pitching or whatever I'll let her know," Sami said. "We don't always agree on it, but she understands after she changes usually."

Likewise, Stephi also works to help Sami improve.

Patrick Johnson, coach for the girls volleyball team, explains the uniqueness of the two playing softball with each other.

Johnson said, "Well you know they feed off each other. They help each other. It's probably unique to have a twin sister catch you and a twin sister pitch to you. So you know you can get on each other without worrying about hurting each other's feeling. They know they are trying to the best for each other."

Senior Jen Dufner is close friends with both Sami and Stephi, and believes that playing and spending time together has been beneficial to each twin.

"I think it creates their bond to be closer, because they're in the same activities and they like to do the same stuff and they hang out with the same people," Dufner said. "I think that really helps bond them as siblings and as twins."

Because they are involved in many of the same sports and activities, they are primarily in the same friend groups, but often separate when it comes to large groups.

"It's kind of nice because I mean, it's not like we are constantly spending time with each other," Stephi said. "We'll be at the same thing but we'll be talking to different people."

Both Stephi and Sami plan to attend Bemidji State University after graduation to study Exercise Science and play softball.

"When [Stephi and Sami] go to Bemidji next year they're going to be successful because they'll have each other and they'll be continuing to do what they love, which is softball," Dufner said.

Though the twins initially planned to separate during college, they decided to continue playing with their unique pitching and catching combination after the school offered both of them spots on the team.

"We wanted to play together but she originally wanted to go further from home and I wanted to stay kind of close so we were willing to do that," Stephi said.

"We said if we did get the opportunity and we like the school we were going to take it to be together but we weren't going to expect it," Sami said.

Though the two plan to take the next step of their lives together, each believes there is something their peers may not know about them as athletes and students.

"Yes I am devoted, and I am ambitious," Stephi said.

"Yes I am competitive, and I am determined," Sami said.

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