By Jeremy Gonzalez
Assistant Sports Editor
If you have a twin, know someone who is a twin, or are a big fan of “The Simpsons,” then you know that twins share a special bond. Now imagine having an identical twin, spending nine months together in the same womb, and sharing the same features, DNA and blood your entire life.
That’s very rare, with the chances of giving birth identical twins around .0004 percent, according to a 2015 article in the academic journal Science and Justice. But even rarer is finding identical twins on the same softball team, one catching every time the other pitches.
That’s the dynamic currently playing out on the Toro softball team, as identical twins Jackie and Jessica Olvera, both juniors who transferred this year from the same community college, are bringing their mirror images to the South Bay to round out their collegiate years.
Jackie is the catcher whenever Jessica is on the mound, roles that have switched over the years. But whoever is on the mound and whoever is receiving, the Olveras feel they can motivate each other
The tight relationship they have shared since before they were even born, a bond made even stronger by the number of teachers and coaches who have tried to separate them in order to promote individual growth, has helped their strong pitcher/catcher connection. While Jessica has earned more accolades in her softball career, including all-conference honors while attending Mt. San Antonio College, considering Jackie catches for her every time she starts, it’s a group effort.
Jackie said she always remembers what Jessica did against a batter and she’ll adjust their game plan accordingly so that they always remain on the same page. If Jackie feels that something is off, she’ll call for a timeout or talk things over with Jessica in the dugout.
“Some people think we’re yelling at each other,” said Jessica. “It’s just tough love. She keeps me in check.”
They believe they are living examples of “twin telepathy,” the idea that twins know what the other is thinking or feeling without actually speaking to each other. Together they relate a story where Jessica fell and scraped her knee while playing outside. At the same moment, Jackie began crying and complaining that her knee was hurting. It turned out that the knee Jessica scraped was the same knee Jackie was complaining about.
There has long been a debate about
“Teachers would do that all the time to us,” said Jessica. “Even coaches still try to separate us now, but it never worked, and I think we’re doing fine being together.”
The Olvera twins have been almost inseparable, having gone to the same school their entire lives. And together they have had plenty of success. They graduated from Kennedy High School in 2015, helping the team win three league titles during their time there. They began their college careers at Mt. San Antonio College, where together they won the California Community College Athletic Association state championship in 2018. The next stop for the twins is CSUDH, with their eyes on the CCAA title.
Academically, they began studying as kinesiology
Electing to finish out their college careers in the South Bay, they are hoping to bring success to the softball program at CSUDH.