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Freshman Catcher Sarah Ketring and her twin sister Kayla didn't plan to both end up at Penn, but they are both happy that the other is here.

Credit: Biruk Tibebe

Over time, athletes become very close to their teammates. Some might even consider them family.

But what happens when one of your teammates actually is family?

That’s the case for the Ketring twins, Sarah and Kayla, of Penn softball. The freshmen duo from Moorpark, Calif. have taken the journey across the country to go to college and play softball together.

But it wasn’t always going to be that way. In fact, they almost ended up on opposite sides of the country.

“I was looking more West coast, and she was open to anything,” Sarah said. “So she committed here and I kinda had a change of heart and was like, ‘You know what, I can go to the East coast.’ So we just came to college together. I don’t know, it just worked out.” 

And worked out it has. Both girls are ecstatic that they have the other one here with them and constantly support one another on and off the field, which has been crucial to their transition to college and the increased level of play.

“We didn’t really go through that low point. I don’t want to say that we didn’t miss our family, but we have a piece of family here all the time,” Kayla said.

Both girls have seen plenty of action so far this season. Kayla, a right fielder, has appeared in 11 games, with eight starts, 10 hits, eight runs, and three runs batted in. Sarah, a catcher, has appeared in nine games, with eight starts, five hits, four runs, and five RBI.

The Ketrings won’t see any action in the near future, however. Both are sitting on the sidelines nursing injuries that came just one week apart. Sitting out, especially in your first season when you’re trying to establish yourself on the team, can be very difficult for an athlete.

Luckily for them though, they have each other to help them get through it.

“[We always] support each other in the highs and the lows. Right now is a low, but we’re always there for each other. It’s pretty awesome,” Kayla said.

Like a lot of siblings, Sarah and Kayla are pretty close. They’ve been playing softball together all their lives, and all that time spent out on the diamond has led to a special connection. And if you watch the two of them play, you can see a lot of the little intricacies of that relationship.

“I love catching, and obviously I see everything, so I always see her out there, like she makes a good play and it just hypes me up. I love being on the field with her and playing with her,” Sarah said.

“We have like little twin things that we do, we have a little handshake. Whenever I’m at bat, I’m left-handed I can see straight into the dugout, and in the middle of my at bat, let’s say I’m struggling a bit, just every time I look at her, she’ll give me like a little nod or something so small, but it’s so reassuring and puts you back in the zone,” Kayla added.

So while they might be sidelined right now, the Ketrings will be back soon, and they’ve got plenty of time to bring their years of experience together to the field for Penn.