Heather Robey, Stephanie Stowe and Stephanie Kababie never planned on crossing paths. But in 2003, they came together at Three Rivers Community College in Poplar Bluff to play softball.
Now, three years later, they have reunited on the Columbia College softball team.
Kababie and Stowe came to Three Rivers from Manitoba, Canada. Kababie came from Winnipeg, while Stowe came from Beulah.
Robey came from New Madrid, Mo., and decided to play at Three Rivers because it was close to home.
“I liked the environment and since I knew people, it just made me feel more comfortable,” Robey said. “That was just another comfort blanket. Being close to home and knowing people on the team already, really helped me with my comfort zone.”
Kababie was a sophomore and Stowe and Robey were freshmen, but the three quickly became close friends. Robey and Stowe were roommates, but they said they always hung out in Kababie’s room.
Robey said the team couldn’t help getting along well together.
“Poplar Bluff is a very small town,” Robey said. “Everywhere you would go, you would see someone from the team. You were basically each other’s entertainment. If you didn’t get along, you were screwed.”
Stowe said she became close to Robey and Kababie for many reasons.
“We were just always joking around about things and having fun,” Stowe said. “Being roommates with Robey really helped us become closer. You learn a lot about a person when you live with them. And Stephanie and I have the same backgrounds.”
They only played one season together at Three Rivers before Kababie transferred to Columbia College in 2004. Then, after Robey and Stowe completed their two years at Three Rivers in 2005, it was their turn to transfer.
“I talked to them a lot,” Kababie said. “The coaches used me a lot with talking to them and trying to get them to come here. I talked to (Heather) Robey a lot and tried to convince her to come here. I told Stephanie that she would really regret it if she didn’t try out. So she did and she did an amazing job.”
Robey said she decided to come to Columbia College because Kababie helped her with her “comfort zone.”
“Kababie helped me with my decision a lot,” Robey said. “It is hard to go somewhere where you don’t know anyone.”
Robey also said Stowe had a big influence on her decision to go to Columbia College, though Stowe was not planning on transferring there.
“We talked a lot about where I should go,” Robey said. “She helped me realize the comfort zone that I would have, with Kababie being there. (Stowe) didn’t even consider going there, but she gave me her input anyway.”
In the middle of the Summer, Robey said she received a surprising e-mail from Stowe explaining that she had decided to go to Columbia College as well.
As the beginning of the season approached, Stowe and Robey joined a team they knew little about. They didn’t know much about the coach, or the field they would call home for the next two years. The only thing they knew was that Kababie would help teach them all they needed to know.
“She showed us the way,” Stowe said. “She would tell us ahead of time what to expect. She introduced us to all the players and helped make us feel more a part of the team. She has also helped us with everything else, like registering for classes and what to take and not to take. We can call on her for anything.”
“After a bad day, I would complain and say that I hated it, but they were a good support system for me,” Robey said. “Stowe would always be there to tell me that it is OK and all. She was a real helping hand. Kababie is the team captain and it is her job to help people at bad times, but it was that much better that she is a good friend.”
Kababie said having Stowe and Robey around has helped her out this season, too.
“We have been together before, and it is just nice to know that someone expects certain things out of you,” Kababie said. “We are all pretty blunt and tell it how it is. We have a lot of honesty and confidence with each other.”