Differences aside, Lokaitis sisters make formidable combo for Bishop Canevin softball

Thursday, April 18, 2019 | 5:37 PM

Siblings bicker. They get under each other’s skin and on each other’s nerves.

The Lokaitis sisters, junior Taylor and sophomore Meadow, are no different. Their personalities mix like oil and water. Bishop Canevin softball coach Karen Seitz-LaFianza called Taylor “intense and competitive” and Meadow more laid back.

Taylor described herself as quiet and her sister as more outgoing and talkative. Meadow said Taylor is more aggressive and takes softball more seriously.

During practices, there invariably is verbal sparring between the two.

“You would never believe they’re sisters,” Seitz-LaFianza said.

But Taylor and Meadow Lokaitis have each other’s backs. They have combined their talents to help Bishop Canevin to a 4-2, 4-1 mark in the early going.

Taylor, Seitz-LaFianza said, always has been a good player. But because the Crusaders had a dominant senior class last season, the then-sophomore third baseman flew under the proverbial radar.

Her numbers were anything but anonymous: a .400 batting average, six doubles, five triples and 15 RBIs. Now one of the veterans on a youthful team, she has upped her production, accumulating a .684 average, 14 RBIs and 13 runs through the Crusaders’ April 17 win over Rochester.

“This year, there are only two seniors, and this is my year to step up and help our fellow players,” she said. “They’re getting better and better.”

That applies to her sister, with whom she forms the Crusaders’ middle infield: Taylor at shortstop and Meadow at second base. They combined on two double plays through Bishop Canevin’s first six games.

Meadow has complemented her defense with better production at the plate. Seitz-LaFianza tinkered with her swing, directing her to pivot her back foot and open up her hips more when she takes a cut.

The result is a .400 average and her first high school home run. That happened April 15 at Sewickley Academy, where she hit a ball over the tall right-field fence and onto busy Ohio River Boulevard.

“Nobody saw that coming,” she said. “I don’t really know how I hit that.”

Said Taylor: “She just put the bat out there. It was just a laughable thing. Probably something that will never happen again.”

But Taylor allowed herself to admit her little sis has some talent.

“She’s a good ball player. She’s getting the hang of this now. I trust her like I trust everyone else.”

The Crusaders will need that trust to permeate the lineup as they strive for a playoff spot in a new section. They moved to Section 1-A to join, among others, 2018 WPIAL semifinalist Union and quarterfinalist Sewickley Academy.

“If we want something, we can get it,” Meadow said. “If we go in (to a game) with a bad attitude, we can’t win. It’s all in our heads. I feel like now we’re coming together and bonding a lot.”

Despite what their arguments might suggest, the Lokaitis sisters have a bond, too. However frequent their disagreements might be, they tend to blow over quickly.

That is particularly true between the lines, where they are committed to working together to make the Crusaders a section title contender.

“Once we go on the field,” Taylor said, “it’s a trust. I’m always backing her up, and she’s always backing me up.”

Added Meadow: “We don’t really argue about things that are worth arguing about. Whenever we’re on the field playing, we’ll just forget about everything. … In the end, we’re there for each other.”


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