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One step at a time

May 16, 1999

One step at a time

Stepsisters Abbamonte, Burdette stick together on, off field

Softball Step-sistersBy DAN SPEARS / Staff Writer

photo: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer




Walkersville pitcher Amy Burdette knows exactly what she's going to see every morning when she gets up.

Her pillow ... her blanket ... second baseman Lisa Abbamonte standing over her.

"I don't wake up to an alarm clock," Burdette said. "She wakes me up every day."

[cont. from sports page]

"Even when I don't have to get up, I get up and wake her up," Abbamonte said with a wry smile. "... She's a pain."

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Whoa. Now, there's something to be said for knowing your teammates, but isn't this a little ridiculous?

Not when you're Burdette and Abbamonte, the stepsisters who lead the No. 2 Lions into the Maryland Class 2A softball playoffs one final time.

The morning wake-up call - and any other family antics - are now ritual for these two in the Burdette home, formed when Terry (Amy's father) married Barb (Lisa's mother) on Sept. 2, 1995.

"It's been forever," Abbamonte said. "They wouldn't have met if we didn't play softball. That's how we met."

At that point, the two were already pulling a sister act to get Mom and Dad together.

"It's what we wanted," Abbamonte said. "As soon as we found out there was a thing going on, we were excited."

"We moved things along," Burdette said, and then grinned.

And then they moved in. But like any player joining a new team, the two stepsisters - a name quickly shortened to just "sisters" by both - worked their way through a few jitters while settling in.

"At first it was like, 'You don't want to leave the other one out.' Now, it's an understanding," Abbamonte said. "It's cool."

And Burdette thinks that's an advantage on the diamond.

"We're together all the time. We work really well together on the field. I think it's because we're so close and we've been playing together forever and we've been living together. We know each other's moods on the field."

That's almost always a jovial one. Even though both take their softball seriously - Burdette will play at Iona on a full scholarship and Abbamonte is thinking about walking on at Virginia Tech - the jokes constantly spill onto the field.

"(Abbamonte) knows how to make me mad on the field to make me pitch harder," Burdette said. "She used to catch me; we were pretty good. She'd always ask me, 'Are you throwing slow today?'"

"I'd just ask her if I needed a glove," Abbamonte said with a laugh. "We've always worked well together like that."

But they'll only get to work together on the field one more postseason, starting today at 4 p.m. against Fort Hill.

Come next season, the wake-up calls and the roommates will be different for these two, who also shared a room much earlier in their lives.

They were both born at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Md., by the same doctor - 33 days apart.

"She puts up with all my stupid things that I do," Burdette said. "It'll be different having to live with a new person and them think that I'm really weird or something. But Lisa just deals with it."

And Abbamonte knows they'll be able to deal with the future, too.

"We always come back to each other. We go and make different friends and get close to them and everything, but we always come back to each other," Abbamonte said.

"We're definitely more sisters now. But we're still best friends."

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