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Saturday, May 8, 2021

Seeing double

Playing college softball was always a dream of the Richards twins. They’ve turned that dream into a reality at Western, where they both are now starters for the softball team.

Juniors Cylie and Carlie are identical twins from the Tri-Cities. They started playing softball together at the age of five, and nearly 16 years later, it’s something they still do as a pair.

Growing up and throughout high school, they played with Emily Benson, the current captain and first baseman, who put Western on the twins’ radar.

“I don’t think you could ask for better teammates than those two kids.”

Amy Suiter, head coach

“To be completely honest I didn’t know [softball at] Western was a [popular] thing,” Carlie said.

They did know for sure, though, they would be playing for the same school.

“We heard other stories of twins who went places,” Cylie said. “Some stayed together and loved it, and some of them went separate ways and hated it, so we decided to go together.”

When they initially visited Western, neither of them planned on attending. In fact, they had to be strongly encouraged by their dad to even visit.

However, as they started to see more of the school and the team, they struggled to find any negative aspects, and discovered many positives.

The Western team felt like a family, Cylie said. Carlie agreed, and said she loves all of her teammates.

Western’s head coach Amy Suiter described them both as hard workers.

“They’re the first ones there, [and the] last ones to leave practice every day,” Suiter said.

She also praised their commitment to the rest of the squad.

“I don’t think you could ask for better teammates than those two kids,” Suiter said.

Although they are similar in their values and determination, they also have their differences.

“[Cylie’s] a little more disciplined than I am, I like to eat a little more chocolate than she does,” Carlie said.

Juniors Cylie (left) and Carlie Richards (right) are in their third season with the Western softball team. // Photo by Kirstyn Nyswonger

Carlie also described Cylie as strong, recalling a tournament where Cylie was cleated and received stitches from a doctor, who told her she couldn’t continue playing. A little blood and a couple of stitches didn’t stop Cylie though, as she played in the rest of the tournament.

“Cylie’s tough, that’s just a part of her,” Carlie said.

Suiter said Carlie tends to take things on the lighter side, while Cylie’s personality tends to be more serious.

One trait that runs strong in both of them, though, is selflessness. 

“Nothing we do is about us, it’s about our teammates and the people who have helped us get where we are,” Carlie said.

The Richards twins and the rest of the Viking softball team will take on Western Oregon University on Friday, April 21 at Viking Field.

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