Real Life Sister Act Sparks Lions Win
May 10, 2023 by Rich Kelly

Last Saturday afternoon brought a new concept to the spring season in high school sports: nice weather.

All game photos from Bill Fugate click here.

Last Saturday afternoon brought a new concept to the spring season in high school sports: nice weather.

The sun was shining, nobody needed firewood, winds were calm, and as the NDCL Lions celebrated their Senior Day activities, they hosted a Lakeside Dragons team that is young, inexperienced, and taking its lumps this season.

The game also marked a special occasion for the Lions, being one of the rare teams in recent history to put a trio of pairs of sisters on the field at the same time in competition.

The visiting Dragons also brought along a trio of girls from the same family. But in the end, the Lions siblings did a load of damage, and NDCL jumped on the Dragons early and often to take a 20-1 non-conference victory.

In the leadoff spot, sophomore Lexie Simon got things going from the start, leading to a three-hit day. After the Dragons (2-17) went down in order to open the game, she sent a 0-1 pitch up the middle for a single.

As it progressed, the Lions sent 11 hitters to the plate. Simon scored on a wild pitch with two out for the first run, but Giana Messina tagged the first pitch she saw over the left field fence.

Maya Rowan, who had a pair of hits on her own, singled; Jadyn Fondran sent a shot down the right field line for a triple; a perfectly executed delayed double steal against a young Lakeside battery plated another run; and a wild pitch finished the seven run first.

The Lions were never challenged again.

Simon had three hits, as did Ava Morano, Fondran and Ava Baeslach. Those efforts sparked an 18-hit afternoon for the Lions as they improved to 10-4 on the season.

Weather has been a big factor for the team, but the trio of siblings gives the program stability now and in the future, and the trio of senior siblings knows how important it is when it all comes together.

Sophia Rowan can feel what is building for her team and family.

“We’re a pretty young team,” she said after the game. “It’s just a really great time to play with my sister as well. Playing together is good for us as family, and to help us more as a team as we get ready for the playoffs. It helps us to focus, and we talk about situations and other things all the time. There is some sibling rivalry stuff at home, but we do a good job of keeping it under control.”

Her smile proved that to be true.

Senior Giana Messina echoed much of that.

“It’s just a really great opportunity for us to play together on the team,” she said. “The bar is set pretty high here in sports. We’re not the most experienced team overall, so playing together helps us to talk about how things are moving along.

“We do mess with each other at times, too,” she said, referring to sophomore Lexie Simon with a smile.

Rowan’s sister is freshman Maya Rowan.

Senior Ava Baeslach has been a stalwart all season for NDCL teams, and playing with her little sister, sophomore Lila, is building their relationship at home and on the field of competitions.

Lila also gives the Lions a solid dimension of speed and athleticism when needed.

“We play some tough teams around here and in our league, so building a team sense is important for all of us,” she said.

Coach Tiger Alexander sees a unique concept with this band of siblings.

“This is such a time to have three groups of sisters together on one team like we have here,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like it, especially in the four years I’ve been coach here, and with the successes we’ve been having, I think it’s really something special to have three groups of sisters together at the same time.

“Today is Senior Day, and I had to scramble to make sure I got all the seniors into the starting lineup at the same time along with time with their sisters. It’s just been such a blessing to have all these girls on our team, and we’re playing good ball in the mix as well.”