-High school: Woodgrove
-Club: Ashburn Shooting Stars Gold
Woodgrove High School senior Ashley Cole will take her elite academic and softball skills to Lehigh University next fall after committing to the Division I school in Bethlehem, Pa. on Aug. 27.
“I was attracted to Lehigh because of its strong academics, especially its business school, and also by the long term success of the softball program,” said Cole, who set a Virginia High School League record with 44 stolen bases during the 2012 season.
“Coach [Fran] Troyan made me feel very comfortable during my unofficial visit in August. He and I connected right away and the program has a family feel to it,” Cole continued.
Cole, a centerfielder, has earned first team All-State honors in each of the last two seasons, helping Woodgrove win the 2012 Virginia AA state championship and finish as state finalists in 2011. Cole has hit at a better than .500 clip each of those years and has combined for 83 runs scored, 78 runs batted in, 67 stolen bases and 30 extra-base hits.
Cole, who plays club softball for the Ashburn Shooting Stars Gold, said the Lehigh coaching staff likes her versatility at the plate (hit, slap or bunt), along with her speed and athleticism.
Lehigh posted a 40-19 record in 2012, winning its second consecutive Patriot League championship and advancing to the NCAA Tournament. The Mountain Hawks have won the Patriot League crown in seven of the last nine seasons and have played in the NCAA Tournament in three of the previous four years.
“I considered a number of other Division I schools, including the Ivy League, but ultimately felt that Lehigh had the best blend of top notch academics and high level softball,” Cole stated.
Cole plans on majoring in business at Lehigh. She is pleased to have made her college decision and is looking forward to her senior year and final softball season at Woodgrove. She added, “I would like to thank my family, coaches and teammates. Without all of their help and support, I could never have reached this goal.”
Delahaba joins staff
Along with Cole’s commitment, the Lehigh University softball program gained some more Loudoun flavor with their recent hiring of Broad Run alum Caitlyn Delahaba as an assistant coach. Lehigh announced Delahaba’s hiring Aug. 30.
Delahaba led the Spartans to a pair of state championships during her illustrious prep career. She was named the 2008 Gatorade Player of the Year in Virginia after helping Broad Run earn the top national ranking in USA Today. Delahaba pitched 10 no-hitters and four perfect games at Broad Run.
Delahaba graduated from Villanova University earlier this spring. She led the Wildcats in pitching appearances in each of her four seasons and was named to the Big East honor roll three times.
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