“We definitely had a rivalry,” Megan said. “We’d never agree on anything. We’d always try to see who was better. Now it’s different. We’ve grown up out of it I guess.”
Mary echoed the same sentiments.
“It’s not really a sibling rivalry anymore. Now, it’s more helping each other,” Mary said. “We still might fight every once in a while, but it’s not too brutal. Now I see playing with her as an opportunity to get better rather than going against each other. I’ve been playing for 13, almost 14 years now and I’ve enjoyed playing with her. It’s just a lot of fun.
“I appreciate that she understands me. She understands how I approach the plate, how I approach every inning and pitch and how I approach my teammates. If I didn’t have that with her, I think I would have a harder time explaining myself to our teammates. It’s the same with her. It’s just a good relationship.”
That connection has translated onto the field, where Mary, a senior, and Megan, a junior, have been a large key to the Reed softball team’s 7-0 start in Division I North play and a 16-3-3 record overall.
In the Raiders’ seven Div. I North contests, both Dettling sisters are batting .433 with both currently sitting at 13-for-30. Mary has accounted for 11 runs and seven RBI while Megan has scored five times while knocking home nine. Megan has also contributed to the Raiders’ success from the circle, earning wins in her three league game appearances with two complete games. In that trio of games, Megan has limited opponents to a .218 average, struck out 27 and gave up just three earned runs for a 1.23 ERA.
Since each of their freshman years, both have been helping guide the Blue and Gold’s success. It is a combination that Reed coach Jon Wunder said he is fortunate to have on his team.
“It’s cool because while they are sisters, they are different as night and day,” Wunder said. “As much as they look different, they have different personalities. On the field though, they can relate to one another. They cover each other’s back. They’re both extremely competitive, so they relate to each other in that way and push each other. They’re about the only ones that can get to each other and get each other out of a funk.”
The Dettlings use their ambition and bond to pick one another up on the diamond.
“We’re kind of the same way on the field,” Mary said. “If we make a mistake, we usually leave each other alone for an inning then go talk to each other later. It’s a good relationship. When we’re on the field and mess up, we can look to each other and know that we have each other’s back. If she has any questions, she’ll ask me and if I have any questions, I’ll ask her. We just kind of give each other tips on what we saw the other one doing.”
Megan said the help goes beyond just simple tips though.
“She gives me a drive and lets me know that I can do it,” the younger Dettling said of playing with her sister. “Because she got into college and supports me, I know that I can accomplish that too. Having her pushing me harder, it only helps me know that I can do it too.”
Next fall, Mary will join the Saint Martin’s University softball squad in Lacey, Wash. while Megan finishes her senior year with the Raiders. For now though, the sisters will enjoy their final season together at Reed. And although they’ve come a long way from their sibling rivalry, there is still a bit of competitiveness between the two. Asked how many times out of 10 that she would induce an out with Mary up to bat and a trip to state at stake, Megan gave an unflinching response.
“How many times would I induce an out in 10 at-bats? Eight.”