Taking a quick glance at the UCSB softball roster, you might notice there are two players with the last name of Moore.
Don’t worry, you’re not seeing double. This season, the Gauchos feature a pair of sisters on their roster: DeJanee and Meme Moore.
Although DeJanee is a junior and Meme a sophomore, this year marks the first time the sisters are playing together in a UCSB uniform as both redshirted last year.
“I really like playing with my sister because your team is your family and I literally have that,” DeJanee said. “It’s a really special thing to be able to play by my sister and see her do well. No one really gets to say they’ve played with their sister at the DI level.”
The two are nearly inseparable. Not only do they go to school and play together, but they live together as well.
“There’s only one time we’ve been apart and that’s when I was a senior in high school and she was a freshman in college,” Meme said. “That was actually really hard for me because she’s always been with me. For the first week she was gone, I slept in her bed.”
As Sacramento natives, DeJanee and Meme have played softball together their entire lives and in 2011, won a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I Championship together at Sheldon High School.
“I think we batted back-to-back (in high school), so it was the Moore duo,” DeJanee said. “It was cool to share that moment with her. [Playing together isn’t] new to us. Over the years, we’ve gotten closer. I don’t think when we were younger we liked it very much.”
The sisters even committed to UCSB at the same time, deciding to play softball in Santa Barbara when DeJanee was 15 and Meme was 14.
“She wanted to go to the same school as me, but I [originally] didn’t, being with her all the time,” Meme said. “Plus, we committed early, so we weren’t as close as we are now. I wanted to go to a different school and branch out and get my space, but it worked out.”
Nevertheless, despite their closeness and genetics, the Moore sisters have very different personalities and are extremely different players.
“Their personalities are so different; that’s what makes it even more fun,” Head Coach Brie Galicinao said. “They live together and to hear them talk with each other, there’s a mutual respect and love, but they also give each other a hard time. It’s fun to see.”
DeJanee is energetic and the leader of the two sisters while Meme is more calm and laid-back.
Their personality differences are exhibited through their choice of majors too. DeJanee is a communication major while Meme is pursing art.
“I can remember back to when they came to one of our camps. They had already committed and this was the first time really working them,” Galicinao said. “I think Dej was at third and Meme was at shortstop and [DeJanee] was on [Meme] about not talking enough. She was like, ‘You need to be talking loud enough. Coach Brie wants someone who’s loud.’ And [Meme] just looked at her and was like, ‘See how mean she is to me?’ It was funny.”
These differences also translate onto the softball field. Meme will be found behind home plate as Santa Barbara’s catcher while DeJanee is listed as a utility player for UCSB, mostly playing different positions in the infield.
DeJanee is known as a quicker player offensively, ranking second on the team in on-base percentage. She is often used as a designated hitter for the Gauchos as well.
Meanwhile, Meme is more of a power-hitter, ranking second on the team in runs, third on team in hits and leading the team in doubles. This past week, Meme was named Big West Field Player of the Week after posting an .800 slugging percentage, .600 batting average and four runs in UCSB’s sweep over UC Riverside. She also hit 4-4 in Sunday’s game to clinch the series and move into a tie with Long Beach State.
“Meme is a more relaxed player,” DeJanee said. “She’s super calm and I’m a person that gets really nervous and anxious. We’re totally opposites, especially hitting.”
While siblings who are on the same team have the potential to create drama, playing different positions has allowed the Moore sisters to avoid any rivalry.
“I just remember the one time my child ball coach tried to make my sister a catcher,” Meme said. “I was like, ‘No. She can’t play my position.’”
Playing the same position didn’t last long. DeJanee quickly returned to the infield, allowing the Moore sisters to support each other in a way only a sibling bond can. With such different personalities, DeJanee and Meme play off each other well. They know how to support and complement each other on the field.
“We know each other the best, so when I tell her something, it’s because I know what she’s doing and I know I can help her,” DeJanee said. “That’s what I like about having my sister on the team. She knows me and she’s that person I can go to no matter what.”
This weekend, UCSB has the opportunity to win a Big West Championship. Building off the Moore sisters’ energy and belief in each other might just give UCSB the edge it needs to take it all.
A version of this article appeared on page 9 of May 7th’s print edition of The Daily Nexus.
Photos by Dustin Harris and Anna Kodelashvili of The Daily Nexus.