They weren’t in the starting lineup, but don’t think twin sisters Mickey and Lexi Roland didn’t have a blast on the New London softball team.
They did, even if they watched most of the action from the dugout.
The Rolands wrapped up their high school athletic careers with another trip to state, as the Bulldogs played Mosinee June 14 for the Division 2 championship in Madison.
State championships are nothing new to the sisters, as they were sophomores on the Bulldog team that won the Division 2 basketball title in 2012 and juniors on the 2013 team that returned to state. Lexi also made it to state in track as a sophomore as a member of New London’s 1,600-meter relay team.
Although she was a starter in basketball, Lexi didn’t mind being a reserve in softball.
“The whole team really makes us feel like we’re part of the team,” she said. “They’re always encouraging us to keep doing what we’re doing. Everybody would rather be out there, but I do like cheering them on and I love watching them succeed.”
The Rolands played softball growing up, but basketball eventually took over.
“We actually stopped in seventh grade because of AAU basketball,” Lexi said. “Both of us did track in middle school and continued through our junior year.”
Mickey started 10 of the 13 games she appeared in and batted .333 with four doubles and 11 RBIs in her first season of high school softball. Lexi started one of the seven games she played in, batted .500 and scored eight runs.
“We wanted to try something new and get back to a sport that we haven’t been in for a while,” Mickey said. “Also, we wanted to be with a different group of girls, which has been really awesome this year.
“I’m having so much fun watching these girls play a sport that they love,” she added. “It makes me so happy that I could be a part of this team.”
The Bulldogs won the Division 2 softball state championship last year.
“It wasn’t based on (the team’s) success at all,” Lexi said when asked why she and her sister chose softball over track. “We just wanted to change it up for our senior year.”
“It’s unreal,” Mickey said. “I have a different role this year, but it’s pretty exciting to be back with the team and just experience it one more time. It’s been different every year and I’m just happy I can end my senior year at state.”
The Bulldogs dropped three of their first five games, but lost only two more during the regular season before outscoring opponents 40-7 in five regional and sectional games.
“We have really good team chemistry and we’re always picking each other up,” Lexi said. “We’re always there for each other. That’s really big.”
Now that softball is over and they’ve graduated, the Rolands are heading to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point to play basketball.
“It’s definitely something we’ve done since we were little and did everything we could to excel at it,” Mickey said.
Having a twin sister on the same team has its advantages, according to Mickey.
“We’ve been on the same team throughout everything,” she said. “You always know that someone’s going to be there for you. It’s different than having a sister because with a twin, you always have someone by your side. It’s great to have someone there to support you and push you at the same time.”
Lexi wouldn’t mind suiting up for the Bulldogs again.
“If I could stay in high school for a couple more years, I would definitely do it,” she said. “It doesn’t get old. It’s something you don’t forget.”