LinksEASTON, Pa. – The Lafayette softball program and third-year head coach Caitlyn de la Haba have signed five student-athletes as part of the College’s Class of 2024.
All five of the incoming members possess versatility, playing multiple positions in the field while bringing a combination of speed and power at the plate.
“I am really excited about this class. We are getting student athletes who are versatile and have proven success at a high level,” de la Haba said. “Each of them will be able to come in and contribute right away, and we will have a ton of depth at all positions.”
Bailey Langford (Carlsbad, Calif./Poway) will play outfield and first base and will bring a left-handed arm to the pitching circle. She was an All-Palomar League Second-Team selection in 2019, while also earning team rookie of the year honors in 2018. Langford batted for a .434 clip in 2019, helping to lead her team to a third-place finish in San Diego County.
On the club circuit, she played for the SoCal A’s Fox/Marinakis, batting for a .526 average in the summer of 2019 to help the team qualify for the Premier Girls Fastpitch tournament.
Langford is a volunteer at an animal shelter, working in the adoption and education departments and also volunteers her time to decorate floats for the Rose Bowl Parade. In school, she is the vice president of the Home Economic Club and a member of the Key Club.
“Bailey is a great all around student and athlete,” de la Haba said. “She is a lefty hitter and can play outfield, first base, and even pitch. She will be a consistent offensive force for us with her bat and on the bases.”
Bella Lowdermilk (Murrieta, Calif./Murrieta Valley) is slated to play catcher and first base for the Leopards.
Her club softball experience placed her with the SoCal Athletics Premier Jendro in Lake Elsinore, Calif.
At her high school, she lettered in academics, was lauded with Honor Hawks distinction (3.5 GPA) and was selected to the National Society of High School Scholars.
“Bella is a strong presence behind the plate, and knows how to support her pitchers,” de la Haba described. “She has a great arm and a very strong bat that will add more power to the middle of our lineup.”
Kailee Sawai (Torrance, Calif./North Torrance) will pitch and play third base for de la Haba, the third of three California signees. Sawai was an All-Pioneer League Second-Team selection and the team’s offensive player of the year in 2019. She banged out a .383 batting average with two home runs in 2018, helping to guide her North Torrance team to a second straight Pioneer League title.
Sawai is an honor roll student and a National Honor Society member, is involved in various community service events and is a girl scout. Sawai played with USA Athletics 18U Gold with Mike and Rose Rodgers in Long Beach, Calif. The team finished as the runner up in the platinum division in 2018.
“Kailee is a well-trained pitcher who can get the best hitters out. I have seen her stay cool, calm and collected in the toughest of situations,” de la Haba said. “She will be a great addition to our pitching staff and add depth for us in a place where we have been pretty thin the last few years.”
Paige Sandidge (Sterling, Va./Dominion) will play catcher, outfield and utility when she arrives in Easton. The team’s MVP for 2018 and 2019 was an All-Virginia Conference 21 Dulles District Second-Team selection in 2017. She left Dominion as the school record holder for hits in a season (34). She hit for a .500 average with a .600 on-base percentage, a .912 slugging percentage and 1.512 OPS mark.
An honor roll student, she earned the 2018 Congressional Public Distinction of Academic Excellence Award in 2018. Sandidge is a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society and is ranked in the top 25 in her graduating class. She has served as a math and reading tutor, a link crew leader and a freshman mentor in addition to a volunteering with a variety of other charitable causes.
Sandidge played her club softball with the Ashburn Shooting Starters 2020 and coach Shawn Gallagher. A three-sport athlete, Sandidge competed in basketball and was a sprinter/thrower on the indoor track and field team.
“Paige is a Northern Virginia kid like me, and I am confident in her ability to help us behind the plate, in the outfield, and even in the infield,” de la Haba explained. “She is a true utility player who makes us more athletic and will be a great team player.”
Kristen Brown (Harrington Park, N.J./Northern Valley Old Tappan) comes to College Hill, playing first base and outfield. Brown was a four-year starter in high school, helping guide her team to a 2017 Sectional Championship and a 2019 Bergen County title.
A National Honor Society selection, Brown is an honor roll student who is also a member of the French Club. She has volunteered at a nursing home, working with residents who have Parkinson’s Disease.
Brown played her club softball with the Hudson Valley Hurricanes and North Jersey Vipers. She is the younger sister of Allison Brown ’16, who played in more than 150 games at Lafayette during her four-year career.
“Kristen has Lafayette Softball in her blood! Her sister Allison is an alum of our program, and when I went to see Kristen play, I was immediately impressed by her talent and athleticism,” de la Haba said. “She is another lefty power hitter who will add a ton of pop to our lineup and be able to help us in the outfield and at first base.”
The 2020 Lafayette softball season is set to open the season Feb. 28. The Leopards will play five games in three days at the Patriot Classic hosted by at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.