If you ever had the chance to attend a Searsport District High School softball game this spring you might have noticed something special about the players: nearly half of the team members share a striking physical resemblance. On a 12-player team, four sisters might be noticeable.

Most likely, though, a bystander would not be able to tell that seniors Marisa and Megan, both age 18, sophomore Shannon, 17, and freshman Gwen, 15, are related. They might notice the strong resemblance in fraternal twins, Megan and Marisa, but not by the way they act.

Overall, the girls, and their coach, do not seem to find that their shared name makes much of a difference on the field.

“I think I can best sum it up by saying that, other than getting a few raised eyebrows from other coaches and umpires when I hand them the lineup card, you would never know that I had four sisters on the team,” said coach Thor Gower, whose team finished 4-12 and 14th in Eastern Class C during the recently concluded season.

In fact, Marisa and Megan find that perhaps their greatest advantage is making up such a large part of the Viking diamond squad. The girls also played together on the Searsport soccer and Shannon played basketball for the Vikings.

“We joke about that some of the time,” Megan said. “If we are going to call up our coach and say, if we are going somewhere: ‘Yeah, half your team is not going to show up for practice.’ “

Marisa said that it is fun because the siblings never have to worry about the bus to the game leaving them if the four of them are late. Not having the four sisters show up could be an issue for the Vikings fielding a team.

In large part, though, Gower did not think the girls were too cliquey. He said each one is a unique individual and has her own personality.

“Coaching them was no different than any other four softball players, but I did pause a few times this season during games and thought to myself, ‘Wow, almost half of the team out there are Higginses.’ I doubt there are many coaches out there that have had the same opportunity to say that.”

This season, Marisa played second base and had 10 runs and six RBIs, Megan played left field and had seven runs and six RBIs, Shannon played center field and had seven runs and six RBIs and and Gwen played third base.

The girls think along the same lines as their coach, but said that their sisterhood makes some difference on the diamond. For example, since they know each other better they can mostly judge how the others will play.

The sisters, who also play other sports, such as soccer, for the school, often will be the ones to criticize each other. “They’ll be the ones who comment on my batting out loud,” said Marisa, “because we notice the kinks in each others’ playing styles.”

“We know how they play when they are mad or how they play when they are happy or excited and stuff like that so it helps us to know how to help out or how much more to help out,” Shannon said.

Last year, for example, Shannon and Megan were in the outfield and both girls ran to catch a pop fly but Megan was too shallow for the catch “so I kind of reached out and I missed it but it went down behind me and she was right behind me to catch it,” Megan said. “It was just a cool play and we were like: only sisters could time that and confuse everybody.”

The sisters can also help each other play better because they are so competitive, especially when they tease each other.

“We just kind of make each other mad and we kind of prove to each other, ‘No, I can be angry and still play better than you,’ and the competition thing just kind of works out for us,” Megan said.

She added that they want to prove themselves “to other teammates, but especially our sisters — ‘I’m better than you and I will do all this stuff better than you.’ It comes naturally, I guess, just to prove a point.”

On the field, the girls are a team first and don’t want to put their sibling squabbles in the way of a good game.

At the end of the day, though, they all go home and get back to being a different team — their own family team. “We have always been like a team together,” said Marisa. “It’s always been the four Higgins girls.”

Village NetMedia Sports Reporter Frederick Freudenberger can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at fritz@villagesoup.com.