If you’ve ever seen the movie A League of Their Own, you know the two main charters are very close sisters who grew up on a farm, played softball, and had a healthy competitive nature to their relationship. The movie follows the two as they go on to play for an all-female professional baseball league during World War II, a true story in itself.
Brandy Trimble and Amanda Hampton mimic characters Dottie and Kit in that they both grew up on a farm, loved to play softball, and went on to earn full scholarships to play at the collegiate level together for Campbellsville University. Now, however, is where the story becomes their own, as both find themselves leading a team of young girls as coaches instead of players.
The sisters coach the Lady Cougars Softball Team with Brandy as head coach and her sister as assistant. Brandy admits she does not see herself above her sister in any fashion or form. In fact they are a duo in all they do, and have always been.
The sisters, who are also best friends, began playing the sport as soon as they were old enough to pick up a ball. Their mother Donna Nuyt would take the two to the park and throw with them throughout their childhood. She herself loved the sport and played on pickup leagues here and there. The women in the Nuyt family are strong. They worked on the family farm and were no stranger to long days and hard labor. This only helped with the game and life as strength, discipline and endurance are the key factors to becoming successful in both. And the Nuyt sisters are definitely successful in both.
Winning the first District Championship since 2009, the Lady Cougars prevailed in 2016 to take the title under the leadership of Trimble and Hampton. The Lady Cougars also broke a record last season when they earned 14 wins, the most wins in a regular season.
“It’s really a team effort,” said Brandy. “We have such great young athletes who work hard and are dedicated to the sport and their teammates.”
When off the field Brandy works as a Health Educator at the Logan County Health Department and Amanda works for Profab in Russellville. Brandy is married to husband Blake and Amanda to Kyle, who both serve as volunteer firefighters. Amanda and Kyle have two sons, Dylan and Aiden.
When you ask the sisters why softball is important to them still, they both once again mimic each other by saying it’s part of who they are.
“I love it,” said Amanda. “I love being around softball and I missed it so much after college. Being able to coach is different than playing, but it does allow me to be involved in it again. It kind of makes me feel young actually. I can get out there and do the same things they can.”
Brandy agrees saying, “It keeps you young being around the girls, but it is funny they think of us as old,” she laughed.
When Brandy graduated from Logan County High School in 2000, she was the first of the sisters to leave home and go to college. She said it was lonely the first year because she didn’t have Amanda beside her and she didn’t know anyone. But after two years there and when it was Amanda’s turn, Brandy was excited to once again be reunited with her sister on the team. Brandy played shortstop, while Amanda played third base.
“It was the greatest thing ever,” said Amanda joining her sister at Campbellsville. ” We knew each other’s passion for the game and how we played. I played very close to home plate so I could field the bunt, while Brandy played back at the grass because she had a canon for an arm. What I couldn’t get… she got. We always played well together.”
Now the softball sisters are taking their experience and coaching well together. Brandy says of Amanda, “It’s like having a clone of myself. She knows exactly what to do and when to do it. We both are so used to each other and our playing styles that it flows as we coach.”
Both sisters say they love to win, but for them that is not the main reason for their coaching.
“We love winning, but it’s so much more than that for us,” said Brandy. “It’s more about teaching these young girls how to be young woman. Through the sport you learn responsibility and you learn about life and lessons.”
It is surreal for both Amanda and Brandy to be coaching on the field they once played. It is a going home for them, a full circle.
“We are both blessed to be able to continue in the sport that has molded us, kept us close, and taught us so much,” said Amanda. “We can only hope to make that difference in the lives of these girls we are charged with. If that is accomplished while getting to do what we both love… well it is definitely been a life to live.”
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.