LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- Twin sisters, Tyler and Shade Epes, seniors at Water Valley High School (Mississippi) have committed to attend Covenant College. By accepting the enrollment offer, both Epes sisters have expressed their intent to become full-time students and play softball for the Lady Scots and head coach Sara Russell beginning in the fall of 2014.
The Epes sisters join the Jami and Joni Johnson as sets of twins that have committed to play softball for the Lady Scots beginning in the fall of 2014.
The talented Epes sisters have been a powerful force for head coach Casey Clouse and assistant coach Amber Metzger since their freshman seasons at Water Valley. The Lady Blue Devils' opponents literally see double when the Epes twins are on the field. Both sisters pitch and play third, shortstop, and outfield. Tyler is the starting pitcher for Water Valley and Shade is behind the plate.
Tyler has manufactured 49 strikeouts in 46 innings with a 2.42 ERA and a BAA of .263 in her career. Tyler and Shade are currently batting .357 with 36 RBIs and .417 with 56 RBIs, respectively, with two home runs each this season. "They can generate runs together and are very fundamentally sound as far as defense," said Clouse.
The Epes' played two seasons of travel ball with the Mississippi Shockers and head coach Pat Androta. They plan to play this summer for their high school coaches and the Mississippi Rampage.
"Academics come before anything else, and when you go to college, you're not just going to play sports, you're going to get an education so you can better your future, and that's what we liked about it," said Tyler to her hometown newspaper about the decision to come to Covenant.
The twins bring dedication and competence from the softball diamond to the classroom. Both sisters have earned a 4.0 GPA.
"Everyone always told me that when I found the right place I would 'just know.' I never had that feeling until I walked on campus at Covenant with my family," said Tyler about her Covenant experience. "After five minutes of being there, I turned to Shade and said, 'This is it.' I feel at home at Covenant. The people I met were so nice and honest and are not trying to be something they are not."
Tyler added why she chose to play softball at Covenant, "I love the coaches and the softball team, and on top of all of that, Covenant offers a great education that I know will prepare me for my future. I felt very welcomed by all of the players and especially Mr. and Mrs. Coach Russell. The Lady Scots softball team has been very successful in the past few years, and I want to be a part of that. After seeing the coaches with their girls, I realized that Mr. and Mrs. Coach Russell are there for the girls and treat them like family. I want to be part of an environment like that."
Shade added, "I chose Covenant because as soon as I walked on campus with my sister, I knew it was not just a place it was THE place. I was getting worried that I would not have the feeling that everyone says you get when you find the right place, but that changed when I found Covenant, or rather it found me. I felt at home, and I felt like I did not have to be someone I am not; I could just be me and that is a rare thing to find in a college these days."
"Coach Russell was the first coach to make me feel special and wanted. I saw her working with the girls and how they responded to her and I knew immediately that I wanted to be a part of a team like that," described Shade on choosing to play for the Lady Scots.
The Epes sisters both plan to double major in Physics and Biology while at Covenant.
Russell, along with the team and her coaching staff, are excited to have Tyler and Shade Epes join the Lady Scots in 2014.