Getting Mimi and Ceci Maixner to take a photo is as challenging as hitting one of their fastballs. No, they aren’t camera shy. No, they don’t mind being featured. And no they don’t mind talking softball.
The problem is they can’t stop laughing.
“See what we have to put up with all the time,” says one of the Maixner sister’s teammates.
Of course, there are much worse “problems” to have and worse things to “put up with” than two players who clearly love being around each other and clearly love the game of softball and clearly love being part of the Pioneer softball family.
If they aren’t laughing, they are smiling. If they aren’t smiling, they are focused on playing softball and as much as they like to have fun, they have the most fun winning games as sisters and teammates.
“My sister Ceci loves to goof around and can always make me laugh,” says older sister Mimi, now a senior on the Pioneer softball team. “She also pushes me to be better. She has been around Pioneer softball for a long time, and is really comfortable with the entire team, so it is a lot of fun.”
How does Mimi describe Ceci?
“On and off the field she is amazing,” Mimi says. “She is silly, but she has the best work ethic I have seen. She pushes everyone around her to be better. She always gives 100 percent. She can play almost any position on the field.
“Off the field she is a bit of a perfectionist. With her school work, she is always spending extra time perfecting the style of whatever project she is doing. She teaches me to be kind and to work hard, which are things that she does every day.”
So how does Ceci, only a freshman, describe her older sister?
“On the field she is always smiling and making suggestions on how to improve our play,” Ceci says. “She’s also a little sassy.
“Off the field she is caring, compassionate and really friendly. We have lots of fun with our family and she brings a great attitude wherever she goes.”
Like her sister, Ceci is having a blast this year as a member of the Pioneer softball team.
“It’s exciting playing with my sister because we’ve never been on the same team for a season before and we can read each other very well, and know how to help each other,” Ceci says. “She has really taught me how to mix serious with fun (having a good time while staying focused). She’s taught me how to be a leader and to bring in a competitive spirit to every game.
“She is one of my most important role models in everything. I love how caring she is all of the time with everyone.”
Mimi played varsity softball as a freshman and pitched in most games that first season under then coach Darcy Knoll.
“Ceci and I had been to Pioneer softball clinics when we were little that Darcy ran, so she had known us since we were in elementary school,” Mimi said. “The coaching transition was easier for me because I knew Kim (Waddell) as my goalkeeper coach for field hockey since freshman year.”
Mimi has been one of the team’s top pitchers all four years. She shared the duties her junior year with Sarina Zajchowski until Sarina got injured. This year, Mimi is sharing the pitching duties with Ceci.
“Mimi and Ceci are much of the same but very different on the field,” says Pioneer pitching coach Corrina Rotondo. “They complement each other so well and bring our pitching staff full circle. Mimi with her corner cutting curve and Ceci with her jaw dropping change keeps our opponents off balance.
“When one comes in for the other it is very reassuring for everyone knowing they have each other’s back as teammates and sisters.”
Mimi, who had 15 strike outs in a game against Belleville last year, says the goal this year is to play as far into the season as possible.
“The keys for us are focus, work hard and having fun,” said Mimi. So far for Pioneer it’s check, check, CHECK on the keys.
“The personality of this team is really fun-loving,” she says. “We all get along really well and are able to laugh easily. I would say that we are enthusiastic.”
Leading the way in laughing and enthusiasm is Ceci, who agrees that the purple and white are all very positive and love to have fun with each other.
“We work hard too and help each other become the best we can be,” she says. “Since it’s still early in the season, one of our goals is to learn how each member plays so we can connect our plays and know the best way to interact on and off the field. To be successful, we stay focused on the game and being loud in the dugout.”
Mimi and Ceci, the daughters of Dan and Sue Maixner, both also play field hockey and both are excellent students. Mimi will be attending the University of Michigan to study biopsychology, cognition, and neuroscience next year while Ceci still has plenty of time to map out her future.
For now, they are enjoying their time as teammates on the softball diamond. They are determined to help the Pioneers take the next step this season and plan on having fun doing it at the same.
Laughing. Smiling. Winning.