first_img Comments When Shirley Daniels steps to the plate, she’s already at ease. Leading off, Shirley knows her big sister, Lisaira, has her back no matter what.  With Lisaira waiting in the on-deck circle, Shirley can take her cuts with confidence.‘When she’s behind me I do have a lot of confidence,’ Shirley said. ‘Like if I don’t get it done, she’s going to get it done, or if I’m on base I know she’s going to move me or hit me in.’And with that family support, the Daniels sisters are having remarkable years for the Orange so far. Shirley and Lisaira have recently batted back-to-back in the lineup, with Shirley in the top slot and Lisaira right behind her. And both have produced.Lisaira, a senior, leads the team in batting with a .378 average, and little sister Shirley, a sophomore, is batting .289. Although it’s ironic how the two ended up on the Orange, Syracuse has reaped the benefits of having the Daniels on the diamond.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe siblings will lead Syracuse (9-6) in five games at the USF Under Armour Invitational in Clearwater, Fla., this weekend. SU has a doubleheader Friday against Miami (Ohio) and South Carolina Upstate, and it plays Boston University and Kennesaw State on Saturday before taking on Virginia Tech on Sunday.Although Lisaira is the older sister by two years, Syracuse actually showed interest in Shirley first. Lisaira was a freshman already playing softball at Georgia when Shirley was a junior in high school. The next year, Lisaira was granted her release from Georgia and spent the fall semester looking for a new place to play.On Shirley’s official visit to SU, Lisaira came along. On the visit, Lisaira instantly agreed to play for SU head coach Leigh Ross. And Shirley eventually committed to the Orange, too.‘Shirley didn’t come here because Lisaira was coming at all,’ Ross said. ‘And (Lisaira) didn’t come here because her sister was coming. They both loved Syracuse for different reasons.’Ross said bickering could be common among sisters, but she doesn’t hear that from the Daniels sisters. Both are business-like when they get to the field.They’re also used to playing with each other throughout their athletic careers. Both played some high school softball, travel-team softball, and even track and field together.Despite spending so much time together, neither is sick of the other. It’s an indication of the strong relationship they share.‘Of course I’m going to be a little sister, and I’m going to bother her because I just love doing that,’ Shirley said. ‘But we don’t get completely annoyed with each other where ‘Oh my gosh, I don’t want to be on the same team as her because she’s here.”Shirley said having family so close at college means she always has someone she can confide in.Being the older sibling, with more experience, Lisaira is always offering advice to Shirley. Ross said it can be a delicate situation when helping a sibling, but Lisaira handles it well.‘She doesn’t try to tell Shirley what to do. She helps Shirley through things from her own experience,’ Ross said. And Shirley has thrived putting Lisaira’s advice to use.The sophomore is off to a hot start and moved up all the way from the ninth spot in the lineup to leadoff. When Shirley saw for the first time she was batting right in front of Lisaira, she was shocked she was in the leadoff spot at all. But the fact her sister was right behind her didn’t faze her.Lisaira said that support goes both ways. Lisaira said Shirley has come to her rescue numerous times as well. The two have come to depend on each other.‘It’s all about family. It’s all about supporting each other on and off the field and being there for one another,’ Lisaira said. ‘She’s my blood through think and thin, and I’m always going to have her back. This is truly a gift from God. It’s just a beautiful thing that’s unfolding.’[email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on March 7, 2012 at 12:00 pmlast_img read more