Lauren Camenzind | 8th Grade | DC West
It seems logical that Lauren Camenzind—a few minutes older than her sister Hannah—is considered the impatient twin. But when it comes to softball, that theory is debunked by the realization that Lauren is a shortstop and catcher. The very nature of her position is anticipating, while waiting, always waiting, for the ball to be put in play.
The straight-A student, who someday wants to be a veterinarian, passes the time waiting for the ball to come her way by always being on the move. “When you’re a middle infielder, you’re always moving your feet,” she said. “You’re always moving back and forth. You’re getting the sign and speeding things up on your own.”
It’s her way of staying in a game that has become her world. Consider that she and her sister are playing this season for a select team, the DeMarini Aces, in Kansas City. That means that each weekend they are on the road, either traveling to a tournament in, say, Oklahoma City, or to practice no less than three hours away.
“If you’re going to travel that far for a sport, you have to love it,” Lauren said.
Patience is required, and is being acquired, in the backseat of the family car. Chad and Amanda Camenzind can’t begin to calculate the number of miles driven last summer to take in tournaments in California and Georgia, as well as college camps all across the country, but it has taken a complete family commitment.
The added exposure is paying off for the twins. Following a weeklong tryout camp in Alabama they were named to the USA Elite Select All-American Class of 2022. And just last month both Lauren and Hannah were named to the Elite 100 list of 2022 grad softball players.
When they were offered full-time spots on the Aces, they told their father, “Dad, this is the team we want to play for.” Chad’s response was simple: “We’ll figure it out. We’ll find a way to make it work.” And through their same attitude of teamwork on the field, that’s what they’ve done off the field as well.
Hannah Camenzind | 8th Grade | DC West
Hannah Camenzind is a left-handed pitcher with a full array of pitches, including a drop ball and curveball that are considered lethal to most 14-year-old hitters. Yet there are times when she admits that her mechanics get out of whack and “just doesn’t feel right.”
It’s then that she breaks down her delivery and finds the solution, sometimes in the middle of an inning. “I’m usually able to figure it out on my own just based on where the ball is going,” she said. “A lot of times I try to throw super hard and I just get out in front of myself.”
It’s rare that r a 14-year-old is able to self-correct anything, much less a mechanical flaw in her pitching delivery. Maybe that’s what helped Hannah, along with twin sister Lauren, earn USA Elite Select All-American honors for the Class of 2022, and more recently to the Elite 100 list for 2022 grad softball players.
On weekends, they travel to practice in Kansas City or to tournaments throughout the country before returning to their home in Valley, NE. During the week, they spend most days training after school at Elkhorn Training Camp. “We work on our own during the week,” Hannah said. “I don’t pitch every day, but I hit and take grounders every day.”
Hannah is driven in softball and in the classroom. Her goal is to earn a scholarship to a school in one of the nation’s Power Five conferences. Whichever school she chooses, she plans on going to school with Lauren. “We’ve talked about it a lot,” she said. “We want to go to college together.”
The Camenzind sisters have embraced their twin-ship. It’s always been an icebreaker in school and a talking point with teammates. “You get asked a lot if you are twins,” Lauren said. “Everyone thought it was cool when we would go to camp that we’re pitcher-catcher twins. It’s not very common.” It’s also what makes them not only unique, but so successful as well.