Both standout pitchers just finished their senior softball seasons, and both surpassed the 500 career strikeout plateau during the campaign.
Heck fanned 149 batters in 116 innings, with a 1.87 earned run average. Joines finished with 213 strikeouts and a 1.93 ERA. She also hit .367.
Both were all-stars in 2011, and this season the duo are sharing the Daily Record/Sunday News Division II Player of the Year award. So, we asked both the same set of questions.
Desi Joines: I played it ever since I was little. It's just something always enjoyed.
Erika Heck: My two older cousins played softball, and I just copied them.
What would you change about your sport?
Joines: Nothing, I like it the way it is. Maybe less strikes on the batter, that would be kind of cool.
Heck: I don't really know. That's a good answer (to Joines).
What gives you a bigger lift on the field, a big strikeout or a rapping a base hit?
Joines: It depends if the base hit scores a run, but the strikeout, if is against a really good hitter.
Heck: I don't really hit, because we have lots of good hitters, so I like the strikeout.
What was it like passing 500 career strikeouts?
Joines: It was exciting. It was like a goal I had always had. It was nice to meet that goal.
Heck: I knew at the beginning of the season I had to get so many. I was tallying up, and it felt good when I got it. My team made me a banner and stuck it in the dugout the next day.
Do you have any superstitions on game day?
Joines: I just like to wear my blue sparkly headband.
Heck: Before every game I had to find a four-leaf clover. I can look down and just find them. If I didn't find them before we got on the bus it was a bad sign.
What opponent gave you the most fits on the field?
Joines: Red Lion altogether. I played with lot of girls from Red Lion. They are big rivals.
Heck: Central hit me pretty good a couple of games. Kennard-Dale always has a solid team.
What was your favorite moment of the season?
Joines: Hitting 500 strikeouts was definitely a good moment. Going to (extra innings) with Central was a pretty good thing, only losing by one. We went up there not expecting we were going to play 10 innings and be so close.
Heck: Probably my 500th strikeout. The funniest was when my best friend Jena Hull fell on her side running to first base. It was on a foul ball, and her bat got stuck between her legs. She couldn't get back up and looked at us. Then she got up and hit a triple.
If your sport wasn't offered, what sport would you play?
Joines: Field hockey, I played that before. That would be my second option.
Heck: I would probably have to do lacrosse because of using my arms.
What sport are you the absolute worst at?
Joines: Basketball is not my sport.
Heck: I am really awful at basketball.
Who is your role model?
Joines: (Her cousin, former Kennard-Dale standout) Rhoda Marsteller. We grew up with each other. She was always my role model.
Heck: I always went to pitching clinics, and (former South Western star) Tiff Smith's dad Phil was a coach for a long time. I would come early and watch her. But have to say thanks to my dad and grandpa for always pushing me.
What is your favorite activity off the field?
Joines: Backyard baseball with family and friends, or whiffle ball.
Heck: I like being outside. I have a boyfriend and am always with him.
If you had a day all to yourself with no responsibilities, what would you do?
Joines: I don't know. Maybe go to the beach or hang out with family.
Heck: Probably just lay outside by the pool.
What would you say about facing each other?
Joines: Facing her, you always knew was going to be a good game. The first time against her (this season) she threw a no-hitter. The second time I went 3-3 or 4-4, that is not always the easiest thing to do.
Heck: I like pitching to her because she is tall. I hated being against her for my team. It's different, I never had to bat against her.
Are you a clean or messy bedroom person?
Heck: Right now you can see the floor, but it's not clean.
What is the one thing you do that drives your mom or dad crazy?
Joines: I don't know.
Heck: When I want my own way. It's only child syndrome.
What's the farthest distance you've ever been away from home?
Heck: We go to Florida a lot.
Name one place you'd love to go during your lifetime.
Joines: California, it's nice there, the weather.
Heck: Hawaii (same reason)
What are you planning to do next year:
Joines: Playing softball at Shepherd University.
Heck: Attending Messiah College (not playing) to study nursing.
Do you speak a second language? How well?
Joines: No, I took a couple years of Spanish but am not fluent.
Heck: I took German for three years and can understand some of it. If I went to Germany I could probably do OK, I guess.