Family matters: sisters Taylor and Kaycee Carbone unite this season for UMass softball

By Zach Larkin

(Cade Belisle/ Daily Collegian)
(Cade Belisle/ Daily Collegian)

If you were to add up the countless hours of indoor batting and fielding practice at Boyden Gymnasium, the hours spent during outdoor practices once spring arrives and the grind of a 53-game regular season, there are not many hours left for the players of the Massachusetts softball team.

As the Minutewomen (2-6) know, spending that much time together with the common goal of winning often leads to the word “family” being used to describe the closeness of their team.

This season however, the word “family” is not just used as an observation of closeness. It is used in the literal sense for the Carbone sisters.

Taylor, a senior first baseman and pitcher, and Kaycee, a freshman outfielder, figured to be difference makers for UMass after its first two tournaments of the season.

This past weekend, in a 3-0 win over Saint Francis (PA) the Carbone’s provided some fireworks as Taylor hit a two-run home run over the left field wall in the first inning and Kaycee followed that up in second with a solo shot of her own over the right field fence.

“We had never done that before,” Taylor said eluding to homering in the same game. “We have played together growing up on travel teams and for a year in high school, but had never done that. It was exciting”

A smile that was reciprocated by Kaycee when asked about the chance to join her big sister at UMass.

“To be able to play with (Taylor) at a collegiate level is special, not many siblings get that chance” Kaycee said. “We get along great, not only as sisters, but on the field, as teammates”

The Carbone’s are familiar with joint success. Playing together at Alvirne High School in Hudson, New Hampshire, the sisters won a state championship together while Taylor went on to win her second New Hampshire Gatorade player of the year award, the same award that Kaycee would later go on to win in 2015.

The two described themselves as polar opposites on the field.

“She is a lefty that is quick and plays the outfield,” Taylor said of her sister Kaycee. “She is loud on the field”

Kaycee described Taylor as a “right handed power hitting first baseman who leads by example”

Taylor has proven to be a mainstay in the lineup over the past few years and is off to a hot start, batting .333 through eight games this season with a home run and five RBIs. Kaycee had a successful and decorated high school career and is in a position to keep the ball rolling as she has started every game for the Minutewomen thus far in center field, and is batting .222 with a home run and two RBIs.

The differing styles of play may be apparent on the field, but talking to both of them, one can’t help but realize the chemistry they share as they are always on the same page. Their chemistry will prove vital as the connection that these two have will help bring the young UMass team together, and act as a bridge between a senior class who has been through the grind of the full season before and a large freshman class experiencing it for the first time.

No matter what the impact the family connection has on the team, the chance to play with your sister on the collegiate stage is an experience neither Carbone sister will forget.

Zach Larkin can be reached at [email protected]