Print  
#99 Marjani Knighten
Position: Infielder
Bats: R
Throws: R
Height: 5'5"
Year: Sophomore
Hometown: Buena Park, Calif.
High School: Sunny Hills
Club: Corona Angels

Career Honors & Awards

  • Second-Team All-Big Ten (2014)
  • Two-Time Big Ten Freshman of the Week

Freshman Season [2014]
MJ Knighten started all 62 games at third base as a freshman, making an immediate impact on a Husker program that has recorded two straight top-10 national finishes. One of the Big Ten’s top freshmen, Knighten was recognized as a second-team All-Big Ten selection. She was one of only three freshmen to earn All-Big Ten accolades along with Minnesota’s Sara Groenewegen and Michigan’s Megan Betsa, both of whom were among the 10 finalists for national freshman of the year. Knighten was the only freshman position player named to an All-Big Ten team in 2014, and she was the first Husker freshman third baseman to be an all-conference selection since three-time All-American Tobin Echo-Hawk in 1993.

In her rookie campaign, Knighten hit .311 with eight doubles, two triples, six homers and 38 RBIs. Her 38 RBIs tied for the sixth-highest freshman total in school history, while her six home runs tied for eighth among all freshmen in Husker history. Knighten’s 16 extra-base hits also ranked in the top 10 on Nebraska’s all-time freshman chart, while she became only the fourth Husker freshman to finish with a .300 average since 2000. She also drew 21 walks and stole six bases, while tallying 15 multi-hit games and 12 multi-RBI efforts.

Knighten earned all-conference accolades after batting .364 with three homers and 19 RBIs during Big Ten play. She totaled more walks (10) than strikeouts (9) in conference action, posting a .462 on-base percentage. Knighten also excelled in the postseason, going 8-for-24 (.333) in the NCAA Tournament with a homer and four RBIs, including 7-for-16 (.438) in the NCAA Columbia (Mo.) Regional.

Knighten’s career got off to a hot start as she went 2-for-2 with a double in her debut against UTEP and hit .400 in the opening weekend. She produced her first two RBIs against Houston the next weekend, and her first career home run came at No. 13 Oklahoma on March 1. She added her second home run in her home debut against Iowa State on March 19 before homering against another ranked opponent at No. 23 Northwestern on March 30. Arguably her biggest hit of the year came on May 2 against Indiana, when she delivered a two-run triple that erased a 1-0 deficit with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning. That proved to be the game-winning RBI, and the Huskers went on to sweep the Hoosiers to earn a share of the Big Ten regular-season title.

Knighten was honored as the Big Ten Freshman of the Week in back-to-back weeks in April. She earned her first award on April 7 following a 7-for-13 (.538) performance in four games the previous week. A strong performance in a three-game series at Illinois powered Knighten to the honor, as she had at least one hit, one run and one RBI in all three games, finishing 6-for-10 in the series with a homer and six RBIs. The following week, Knighten went 6-for-12 (.500), producing four walks, three runs, two RBIs and one double. She was 4-for-7 (.571) in a three-game series with Iowa with a .700 on-base percentage.

Before Nebraska
One of the top recruits in Southern California, Knighten capped her prep career by earning second-team All-America honors from MaxPreps as a senior, one of only 19 infielders nationally to earn All-America recognition from the organization.

Named one of Orange County’s top 25 players, Knighten was a four-time all-league selection for Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton, Calif. A three-time All-Orange County honoree, Knighten was named the Lancers’ player of the year as a sophomore, junior and senior, and she was the school’s overall athlete of the year as a senior. Additional honors from her senior season included a selection as the Freeway League Player of the Year and spots on the Cal-Hi Sports first-team all-state squad for medium-size schools and the Orange County Coaches All-Star team. Knighten also earned first-team All-CIF Southern Section honors as a junior and a nod as the Freeway League’s best player. Knighten was selected to play for Orange County in the Orange County vs. Riverside County All-Star Game following her senior year.

Knighten owned a .456 (171-for-375) career batting average with 30 doubles, eight triples, 28 home runs, 81 RBIs and 123 runs scored. She also boasted an .803 career slugging percentage and .501 on-base percentage.

As a senior in 2013, Knighten batted .478 (55-for-115) with 12 doubles, two triples, nine homers and 30 RBIs. She led Sunny Hills in hits, triples, home runs and runs (42). Knighten helped the Lancers finish 21-9 and advance to the CIF Southern Section championship game. Knighten produced 19 multi-hit games and seven multi-RBI efforts in only 30 games. She drove in a season-high six runs against Cerritos and then slugged two doubles and one home run while producing four RBIs in her next game against Gahr. Knighten went 3-for-4 with three home runs and five RBIs against Buena Park on April 25. Overall, Knighten hit safely in 27 of Sunny Hills’ 30 games. She was twice named a Cal-Hi Sports Softball State Stat Star as a senior in addition to earning all-state and All-America honors.

As a junior in 2012, Knighten batted .512 (44-for-86) with nine doubles, three triples, 11 home runs, 22 RBIs and 31 runs scored. She led the Lancers in nearly every offensive category, including slugging percentage (1.070) and on-base percentage (.553). She went 5-for-5 with three home runs, one double and four RBIs in a 16-1 victory over Fullerton on May 8, earning her a nod as a Cal-Hi Sports Softball State Stat Star.

In her sophomore season, Knighten hit a team-best .494 (43-for-87) with four doubles, two triples, three home runs, 15 RBIs and 29 runs scored. She also posted team-best totals of a .690 slugging percentage and a .531 on-base percentage.

Knighten burst onto the scene as a freshman in 2010, when she was named a top softball underclassman and one of the 10 best freshmen by the Orange County Register. Knighten batted .333 (29-for-87) with team-high totals of five doubles, five home runs, one triple, 21 runs scored and a .586 slugging percentage. She also ranked second on the team with a .389 on-base percentage and was third with 14 RBIs.

In club ball, Knighten enjoyed an outstanding career for the Corona Angels. The sixth Angel to sign with NU over the past five years, Knighten also attended the same high school as former Husker and Angel Julie Brechtel, who played at Nebraska from 2008 to 2011. Knighten won a 12-and-under national championship with the Angels in 2008, while finishing second at the 2010 14-and-under ASA National Championship. Individually, Knighten attended the OnDeck National Elite Futures Camp in both 2009 and 2010.

Personal
Marjani Knighten was born in Gardena, Calif., on June 18, 1995. The daughter of Kenny and Marci Knighten, MJ has two sisters, Briyana (21) and Shay (16), and one brother, Marquis (13). Kenny Knighten played baseball at USC. MJ has not declared a major.

Year

Avg.

GP-GS

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

OB%

SLG%

SB-ATT

FLD%

2014

.311

62-62

180

32

56

8

2

6

38

21

23

.395

.478

6-10

.895

First National Bank
Previous Next