Prep softball

Portage McKnight twins fuel each other's motivation for state finals competition

2013-06-07T13:31:00Z 2014-05-26T16:04:34Z Portage McKnight twins fuel each other's motivation for state finals competitionJim Hunsley jim.hunsley@nwi.com, (219) 548-4356 nwitimes.com

Jade McKnight doubles the state finals appearances of twin sister Jalise, but the Portage long jumper remains envious of her sibling center fielder.

"She's going to get a ring; I'm a little jealous," Jade said of Jalise, who plays in today's Class 4A softball state championship. "I'm going to wear it."

"I don't know about that," Jalise said, but the senior outfielder enjoys the sibling support she receives.

"She's been great to me, giving me advice," Jalise said of Jade, who placed 15th and sixth, respectively, in the long jump at the state finals. "From what she's accomplished, it makes me strive for what I want to do."

As the leadoff hitter for Portage (24-6), McKnight is hitting .272 with four doubles, a home run and 15 RBIs. She was 3-for-3 with an RBI and run scored in the sectional championship, and she drove in the initial run of last Saturday's 2-0 win over No. 2 ranked Northridge in the Harrison Semistate semifinal.

"She's been seeing the ball really well," Portage coach Lisa Hayes said of Jalise. "She does a lot of things right for us."

That includes solidifying the outfield defense in center.

"She tracks down balls very well, and she has amazing footwork," Hayes said. "She has great technique that helps her get behind the ball and make her throws."

Due to their competing schedules, Jade has only seen four softball games this season. Today, Jalise will definitely feel the family support at Indianapolis Ben Davis, site of the game against Franklin Central. Jade will be in attendance, plus their father John, who attended last Saturday's state track meet, mother Lisa, who attended the semistate, and several other family members.

"My graduation party is Sunday, so the family is also up for that," said Jalise, a St. Francis recruit. "I feel like it's going to be a lot of fun that they will be at the game. I'm happy some of them finally get to watch me play."

Jade expects to talk with her twin sister Friday and provide encouragement.

"I want to see where her head is at," said Jade, who has committed to Western Michigan. "I went to state last year, so I was able to see the atmosphere and get used to it. Last year, I was a little more nervous."

Jalise McKnight doesn't expect the nerves of a first-time state appearance will get to her.

"Jade has talked with me about it; I'm just going to tune out everything and just play -- do what I do best," Jalise said. "It's good that Jade's been in this situation before. That helps me relax."

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Who was the area's best baseball player this season?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News