For years, Tanque Verde softball was barely relevant in Southern Arizona. Winning seasons were hard to come by, and whenever the program would get any kind of talent, players would often eventually end up at another school.

Sisters Amanda and Kellye Springstead are a big reason why coach Chris Voutsas is changing the culture at Tanque Verde. The Hawks are 10-0 this season and look to be one of the top teams in Division III.

Amanda, a senior captain, is batting a robust .862 to start the young season.

“Every shot she hits is a solid line drive,” Voutsas said. “These are not cheap hits. This girl crushes the ball.”

Kellye, a junior, has allowed one earned run in 33 innings. She can hit a bit, too, with a .577 batting average.

The Star recently sat down with the two sisters to discuss their transition to Arizona softball:

Coming from Hawaii

The Springstead sisters came to Tucson last year from Hawaii. They had a family connection here: Voutsas was their father’s teacher 30 years ago, and when the family relocated, he was one of the few coaches to show interest in the dynamic duo.

“In Hawaii, it’s competitive, but there’s definitely better softball here,” Amanda said. “We’ve grown so much in the year we’ve played here because of the different coaching and the different speed of play.”

Late bloomers

Some kids spend their entire childhood playing softball.

That wasn’t the case for the Springstead sisters.

Amanda’s first season came in eighth grade.

Kellye was in seventh. They didn’t join a club team until they reached high school.

“They are great examples of competitors,” Voutsas said. “They know how to have fun, but they also know how to turn on that switch.”

Hitting and pitching

They may be sisters, but Amanda and Kellye have completely different skill sets — and goals.

“I want this to be my best batting year,” Amanda said. “I want to have the best batting average on the team this year.”

And when asked what she wanted to excel at most this season, Kellye said without any hesitation, “my pitching. I just want to be great.”