MARYLAND HEIGHTS — A quick look at the right side of the Parkway North infield can be downright confusing.
That's because sophomore twins Mia Ham and Mikenna Ham play first and second base, respectively, for the Vikings. The two love to add to the bewilderment they cause.
“Umpires will just look at us and then ask us if we're twins," Mikenna said. "We either tell them we're cousins or that we just met at a doppelgänger convention."
Mikenna enjoys spending on-field time with her sister.
"Sure, we know how to push each other and we know what it takes to get on each other's last nerve because we are so close," Mikenna says. "But it's still great to have her there with me.”
Mia, who is second for the Vikings with nine RBI, loves having her sister literally by her side. The two have been playing together their entire softball careers.
The only thing the pair doesn't share is the same birthday. Mia was born Oct. 30 at 11:52 p.m. Mikenna came into the world at 12:01 a.m. Oct. 31.
Even with such closeness, the traditional sibling rivalries can emerge.
“She gets mad sometimes because she's right there and she can yell at me,” Mia said. “I'm really happy that we're both where we are this year. Last year, I wasn't starting at all, so it's fun now. We're out there so much, it keeps things interesting for us.”
Parkway North coach Jamesell Kee said there is a certain comfort in having the pair anchoring the right side of the infield.
He's even gotten to know the Hams well enough that he can tell them apart.
“Being twins, they look so similar but their games are very different," Kee said. "The way they move, throw, swing and even run are different. It's funny because I have the nickname 'Hammer' that I use at any given time to refer to either one of them. But we've gotten to the point where they almost know which one I'm talking to regardless. I think that closeness and the way they want each other to succeed actually helps with their communication and knowing where each other are on that side of the field.”
Softball is just a small part of Mia and Mikenna's lives. They play and excel at other sports.
The Hams play soccer and lacrosse. They also used to play basketball together.
It is easy to see where the twins get their athletic ability.
Their mother, Renee Ham, is the diving coach at Nerinx Hall. Their older sister, Kari, is a field hockey and lacrosse goalie for Rosati-Kain.
“It's exciting and we like to keep things moving along,” Renee said. “All of the (sports) keep them out of trouble. As in most aspects of life, the twins are best friends. There are times when they're each other's worst enemy, too. They push each other pretty hard.”
The one area where the twins and their older sister reach a bit of harmonic convergence comes on the lacrosse field.
All three play club lacrosse for the St. Louis Samurai.
Kari, who has designs on playing lacrosse in college, said being around her younger siblings is special.
“Sports have always been a large part of all of our lives and I think it has helped build us into who we are today,” Kari said. “My sisters are both very strong athletes, they may be competitive, but it helps them drive themselves to become better people. I love playing lacrosse with them because it helps bring us closer. Playing sports has always been one of the best things in my life, but it has just gotten better since I can share it with my sisters.”