Prep softball: Cyprus has double vision, and Pirates couldn't be happier
Every successful softball team has one thing in common a solid, go-to pitcher. This season, the Cyprus Pirates have two aces they can send to the mound. Cyprus' star pitchers are both sophomores with bright futures in front of them.
And they are fine sharing the spotlight, because they have shared everything else since the day they were born.
Identical twins Celeste and Gracie Castelan are headlining a Cyprus team that is emerging as a contender in Region 6. The Castelan sisters are identical not just in appearance, but also in drive.
"Our goal is to just win as many games as possible," Gracie said.
Gracie and Celeste are young women of few words, but they have a unique, unspoken bond.
"They don't need to talk because they communicate without using words," Cyprus coach Greg Henson said. "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."
Celeste and Gracie don't need to say much, because they do more than enough talking with their play. Behind the performance of these two hurlers, the Pirates came into the week riding a five-game winning streak.
Each sister entered the week with a 3-1 record on the mound. Not surprisingly, Celeste and Gracie have been equally daunting for opposing teams.
"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."
Celeste believes they help each other to succeed just by being together.
"Being on the team with Gracie is the best part about being on the team. We have a lot of fun," Celeste said.
With more than two years left in their high-school careers, Celeste and Gracie have plenty of fun to come. They are two of 10 sophomores on the team. By contrast, the Pirates have just one senior and two juniors. With the Castelans at the helm, Cyprus is only going to get better this season and beyond.
When asked what their biggest goal for the season was, Celeste and Gracie gave the same answer.
"I want us to come together as a team."
Henson said that answer is evident in the way the twins carry themselves.
"Celeste and Gracie are the leaders of that sophomore class," he 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."
That brash attitude has the Pirates poised to make their first playoff appearance since 2009. Cyprus came into the week sitting in second place in Region 6 with a 5-1 region record.
Henson said there is no telling what the potential is for Cyprus or for Celeste and Gracie, as long as the sisters have one another.
"They both love to win and they love to improve," Henson said. "More than that, they know they always have each other's back. If one of them gets in trouble, they know the other one is right there to bail them out."
Double trouble • Celeste and Gracie Castelan
Cyprus' sophomore pitchers Celeste and Gracie Castelan each entered the week with a 3-1 record on the mound. They also both have a .350 batting average and they each have 10 RBIs.
The Pirates came into the week on a five-game winning streak. The Castelan sisters accounted for all five pitching wins in that stretch.
Celeste and Gracie Castelan are two of 10 sophomores on the Cyprus softball team.