HOLIDAY — When David Borges’ father took him to sign up for Little League, his little sister tagged along.
And when the woman taking David’s information spotted Isabella, asking if she wanted to play as well, a family tradition was born.
Tuesday, David and Isabella will pitch at the same time, at the same school.
Anclote’s baseball team hosts Sunlake while the softball team faces Tarpon Springs. Both coaches independently decided to start the siblings on the pitcher’s mound.
David, a senior, has a 1.83 ERA and has struck out four in 7.2 innings pitched this season for the Sharks (4-7, 3-4 in 5A-8). Isabella, a sophomore, has struck out seven through 12 innings and could help her team notch its first district win.
Isabella said watching David play made her want to try softball, and she’s since fallen in love with the sport.
“He just seemed so happy when he played on the field, like he wanted to be there,” Isabella said.
David and Isabella have had games on the same day a few times this season, David said, though this is the first time both are starting.
Isabella said she usually likes to watch David play, but is excited to compare stats with him after Tuesday’s game.
The tradition doesn’t stop with Isabella and David. Their younger sister, Elle, starts middle school next year. She already plays softball and gets plenty of guidance from her siblings.
“He helps her with hitting,” Isabella said. “I help with pitching.”
When David graduates in May, it will leave Isabella as the only Borges at Anclote. She’s always followed his example, and the knowledge that he’ll be gone gives her mixed feelings.
“I’m sad to see him go, to not be near him,” she said. “But I’m also excited to put my name out there.”