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Carroll College softball signs 6, including western Montana trio

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Posted at 9:20 AM, Jul 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-22 11:55:38-04

HELENA -- Carroll College softball coach Aaron Jackson announced the additions of six student-athletes to the Fighting Saints' 2020 class, with three of the recruits hailing from western Montana.

The other signees hail from Idaho and Oregon.

"We are excited to welcome our 2020 class," Jackson said in a release. "This class is full of high quality individuals both on and off the field. All are great students and will pursue an array of academic paths. It will allow us to fill some needs and continue to strengthen our depth."

Jackson's in-state recruits played high school softball at Frenchtown, Missoula Loyola and Stevensville, bringing impressive experience and accolades to the Carroll roster.

Layne Bauer earned a pair of academic all-state selections at Frenchtown and was named second-team all-state after helping the Broncs to two Class A state tournament appearances.

"Layne comes from the perennial Class A power Frenchtown Broncs, where she is an outfielder with great range and can play any of the outfield positions," said Jackson.

McKenna Bessette played pitcher and first base at Loyola, collecting first-team all-state honors as a junior. She was also the team MVP. Bessette comes from an athletic family: Her dad played collegiate baseball and her mom and sister have professional cycling backgrounds.

"McKenna is a pitcher/first baseman who has a big bat," Jackson said. "I look for McKenna to play a big role in the circle and give us some more power at the plate."

Stevensville outfielder Sydnee Paul was a first-team all-conference selection with two seasons of postseason experience. Also a four-year basketball player, Paul is expected to boost the Saints' outfield in the future.

"Sydnee is an outfielder from Stevensville and will give us another three-tool lefty. She has great range in the outfield and a strong arm," said Jackson.

Kaitlynn Ayers joins the program as a utility player from Twin Falls, Idaho, and can "play anywhere in the infield," according to Jackson.

Oregon recruits Kaitlyn Randle and Anika Bjornson bring infield experience to Jackson's Saints, with multiple honors and accolades between the two. Randle captured rookie of the year honors her freshman season and was named all-state as a senior.

Bjornson was a team MVP and all-conference selection.

"Kaitlyn is a utility player with her primary position being middle infield. She is highly athletic and has great speed, which we look forward to utilizing," said Jackson.

"Anika is from Portland, and is a catcher/corner," he continued. "She is a solid fielder and is consistent at the plate.