They’ve occasionally been mistaken for each other off the field — not as twins — but there’s no mistaking the ability Canyon View’s pair of softball sisters have showcased on the field.
Junior outfielder Shontae Clark and sophomore Shaycie Clark form one family pair along with senior Kaitlyn and sophomore Kylee DeLange make up the group. All four are starters for a Falcon team that can clinch the No. 2 seed in Region 9 for the 3A playoffs with a victory at Pine View on Friday.
Both pairs of sisters have their own quirky traits and competitive streaks, but all share a love for the game of softball that came from their parents.
The Clark sisters got started in Little League softball at around eight years old, and Shontae said she and her younger sister are equally competitive.
“We’re competitive in different ways,” she said. “(Shaycie) feels like she wants to be better than someone, but I’m competitive because I want to win.
“Our dad coached both of us in Little League, and the game is always fun.”
The soft-spoken Shaycie has started for both of her high-school years on varsity. She has improved her hitting, and has one goal she wants to achieve before this season ends.
“I want to hit a home run,” Shaycie said. “I don’t hit slower pitchers as well as I’d like.”
Shaycie sent a ball deep to right field in the late stages against Snow Canyon on Tuesday, but it was caught at the warning track.
Shontae has been supportive to her younger sister by keeping her spirits up when needed.
“I’ve tried to teach (Shaycie) to have a good attitude, even if she gets down on herself,” Shontae said. “She gets frustrated easily.”
Shontae has several of her own interesting superstitions that have changed as fluidly as the wins and losses.
“For one of our games, we wore eye black and we lost. Didn’t play very good,” she said. “Me and Kaitlyn came to the conclusion that it brings us bad luck, so we don’t wear eye black anymore.
“I still wear the same color bow in my hair the same way for every game day.”
The DeLange sisters aren’t twins, but they have been confused for each other on more than one occasion.
“We get mistaken for being twins a lot,” Kaitlyn said. “I get mistaken for being the littlest one, but I’m really the older one.”
Kylee chimed in: “I’m the shorter one.”
Like Shontae and Shaycie Clark, Kaitlyn — who will be playing for Dixie State next spring — and Kylee got their start in the game of softball through their dad, who is Canyon View head coach Kyle DeLange.
“He’s played college ball and coached Legion baseball,” Kaitlyn said. “He taught us everything he knows, so it’s helped us come to love the game like he does.”
Kaitlyn admitted she’s been working for the goal of playing for Dixie State since her sophomore year.
“It’s been one of my favorite schools,” she said. “I’ve been working really hard, gone to their camps, and practicing really hard to get to where I’m at.”
The DeLange sisters have had their competitive moments and the occasion on-field argument, but Kylee said “we always figure it out.”
As for superstitions, both Kaitlyn and Kylee offered their own collection of interesting quirks.
“I won’t wear my hair curly on a game day,” Kaitlyn said. “If we lose a game, I make sure I don’t do the same thing the same way the next time. … I always carry Chap Stick in my back pocket, too.”
Added Kylee: “I chew bubble gum all the time, but mostly on game days. … Between the varsity and JV games, I’ll eat a hot dog, no bun.”
Both siblings added playing for their father is a big positive.
“He’s always pushing me to be the best,” Kaitlyn said. “He knows I’m going to make errors, but he helps me understand how to change and do better. He always makes sure we have a good attitude towards the game, even if we’re not doing good.”
“I like having my dad as the coach,” Kylee added. “It’s different without him there.”
Kyle DeLange is simply happy for the chance to coach his daughters.
“As a father, I couldn’t be happier. As a coach, I’m excited because they’re both really coachable kids,” he said. “I must have done something right.
“All four of these kids have great work ethic. Even on days when they’re not successful, they still give it their all. They’re sisters, but it helps us keep a pretty unique bond.”
Follow Tom Zulewski on Twitter, @Tomzsports.