You'll have to forgive opponents of the Magna (Utah) Cypress High softball team if they get a bit confused trying to figure out which pitcher they're facing off against, even while looking at her on the mound. There's a good reason for that: Cyprus' two aces are identical twins, and everything about them is virtually symmetrical.
As documented in detail by the Salt Lake Tribune, twins Celeste and Gracie Castelan provide the anchor for Cyprus' softball success, serving as the team's number one and two starters in a short rotation. Through the sisters' first eight starts of the 2011 season, both are 3-1, and both have largely dominated opponents, all while looking nearly indistinguishable on the mound.
In fact, there is just one notable difference between the two, as set out by Cyprus softball coach Greg Henson told the Tribune.
"Gracie throws and bats right-handed and Celeste throws and hits left-handed. That is where the differences stop," Henson said. "Their stats are almost identical. They are both hitting .350 and they both have 10 RBIs. They both can play any position on the field."
Of course, the pair's ability to deliver from either side of the plate (when considered together, not independently of course) provides intriguing potential for postseason shenanigans. If the sisters were allowed to switch their number 88 and 99 jerseys, they could almost act as a Who's on First sequel.
While the Pirates still have a long way to go, the team's rapid advancement with the Castelan twins has the coach and his squad thinking about the playoffs. Though only sophomores, both twins feel that they're beginning to excel on the field, something that Henson said will only grow with more success and experience.
"Celeste and Gracie are the leaders of that sophomore class," Henson said. "It is actually good they are young because they don't care who they're playing. If the other team is supposed to be really good, it doesn't matter to them. They are not intimidated.
"They don't need to talk because they communicate without using words. They can just look at each other and know exactly what the other one is thinking. They have probably been communicating that way since they were infants and it is really cool to see."
That connection is cool for Henson and the rest of the Cypress program to see, but there's little entertaining about it for opponents who have to riddle out how to handle either sister, a task which seems to be getting more difficult each week, all while the sisters casually progress while enjoying their time together on the field.
"Being on the team with Gracie is the best part about being on the team. We have a lot of fun," Celeste Castelan told the Tribune. Added her sister: "Our goal is to just win as many games as possible."
- identical twins