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Saturday, January 25, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Pitching Each Other Support Brother-Sister Act Rooted In Competitive Friendship

Let’s face it - big brothers go above and beyond the call of duty for the sole purpose of being jerks to their younger siblings. It’s a prerequisite for being an older brother.

Darcy Sohns, the little sister of West Valley High School baseball ace Tyson Sohns, is the ace of the softball team. Tyson has earned his big-brother medal of honor for being able to give Darcy a hard time.

But Darcy has won her share of purple hearts for being able to dish it right back.

A conversation between the two may go something like this:

Tyson: “Well, my fastball has more velocity than yours!”

Darcy: “Well, I’ve got a lower earned run average than you!”

Tyson: “Well, I’ve won more games than you!”

Darcy: “Well, my grades are better than yours!”

Tyson: “Well, there’s more to life than school!”

Tyson and Darcy have always competed against each other. However, they’ve always supported one another.

The efforts of Tyson, a 17-year-old senior, and Darcy, a 16-year-old sophomore, will determine a lot about what kind of seasons their teams will have this year.

A loving rivalry

Tyson and Darcy have managed to overcome the petty jealousies that tend to invade many households.

“They haven’t caused us any heartache whatsoever,” said their mother, Paula Sohns. “We live on 20 acres, so there weren’t a lot of neighborhood children running around for them to play with. All they had were each other.”

And though they have fun with each other’s company, being brother and sister, they can’t help but be competitive.

“Sports, grades, skiing, you name it, if there is something that he (Tyson) can do that I might not have done before, then I’m going to try to learn it and do it better than him,” Darcy said with humor.

“And yes, my grades are better than his.”

To which Tyson could only say: “That they are.

“The competition is always there,” Tyson said. “It makes for nice dinner conversation. But overall, we just have a great friendship. I don’t see too many like it.”

Making the pitch

Their father, Rick Sohns, started coaching them when each turned six.

“At that time, they were the only ones (players on the team) who could get the ball over the plate,” Rick said. “They both had the interest and the enjoyment of becoming better at pitching and have stuck with it.”

As a result, however, there is a nurturing bond exists because there isn’t anything that has happened to one of them on the mound that hasn’t happened to the other.

“There have been great performances, and there have been times when they weren’t great,” Rick said. “They were both there for each other when those things happened.”

Family affair

Athletics has a long history in the Sohns family.

Rick was a No. 1 singles tennis player for West Valley when he graduated in 1968. His father, Roy, played football, ran track and was the No. 1 tennis player when he graduated from WV’s first graduating class in 1925. Paula, a ‘67 West Valley grad, played intramural basketball.

Their children have clearly reaped the benefits of the genetics and work-ethic that have been passed down.

“It’s taught them discipline, it’s allowed them to develop composure in pressure situations and it has brought them closer to each other.”

Time to warm it up

Against Cheney last season, Tyson had the kind of game that he may one day tell his children and grandchildren about.

No sooner had the Sohns’ returned home from spring break when Tyson found himself standing on the Blackhawks’ mound on a 32-degree day.

He proceeded to throw a one-hitter in a 5-0 win while facing just 26 batters in a seveninning game.

After a sluggish start this season, Sohns is 4-1 in league. In his last two performances (both wins) Sohns has given up just nine hits.

Just doing it

“She’s (Darcy) a bulldog,” softball coach Steve Kent said. “The two things I remember as clear as a bell about last year was Darcy pitching 15 innings in one game and walking just one batter.

“Another time she went the distance and got the win in a 14-inning game, but in the 13th she struck out the No. 3, 4 and 5 batters. You could almost see her facing saying, ‘OK, I’ve had enough of this, it’s time to get out of here.”’

After two games this season, Darcy is 2-0 with one save. She’s allowed just two hits this season. In a 10-0 win Saturday against Clarkston, Sohns pitched a no-hitter and missed a perfect game with one walk.

On April 11, Tyson and Darcy struck out 26 batters as the baseball team beat Cheney 5-2 and the softball team beat Cheney 15-0.

And after their respective games, Darcy told Tyson: “Well, I struck out 14 Blackhawks batters and you only struck out 12!”

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