Louisa-Muscatine's Hailey and Kylee Sanders have the remainder of the school year to play sports together before Hailey graduates.

It won't be the last time they will wear the same uniform.

On Tuesday night, Kylee, a junior, announced her intentions to play softball for the University of Northern Iowa starting in the fall of 2021. Hailey, a year older, signed her national letter of intent with the Panthers last week.

As one might guess, two Division I commitments from the same household can make things hectic around the house.

“It’s been an exciting couple of weeks." said their father, Luke Sanders. "It’s the culmination of all their hard work their whole lives coming to fruition. It’s a pretty cool feeling for all of us. It’s been a family thing that we’ve always done together. Sara (Hailey and Kylee’s mom) and I both have always been heavily involved in everything that they do.

"It’s been very surreal and a great experience. We’re just ecstatic about how things turned out. They both had offers from other schools. I think it’s going to be a great fit for both of them ... they’ve always been each other’s biggest supporters."

Kylee hit .496 with a .564 on-base percentage last summer. The leadoff hitter delivered 15 extra-base hits while also swiping 10 bases. In the pitching circle, her secondary position, Kylee was 9-3 with a 2.07 ERA.

"Kylee is a great all-around athlete, probably one of the most athletic kids ever to come out of L-M," L-M's head softball coach Bryan Butler said. “Not only is Kylee a great player, but she’s a great teammate. She’s always picking people up in the dugout and her contributions at the plate are awesome but so are the things she brings to the field and baserunning."

While Kylee admits the recruiting process wasn't easy, she had her eyes set on UNI from the get-go, especially after Hailey committed there.

“(The recruiting process) was pretty stressful." Kylee said. "Since I had fall (club softball) season this year and I had tournaments every weekend. So it was hard to go on visits with my schedules.

"I picked UNI because I think that I will get a lot of opportunities (there) ... I also loved the campus and the atmosphere and playing with my sister is also one of the biggest reasons I chose UNI. We’ve always had a special bond, but it’s not the only reason I chose UNI. I loved the feel of it. It’s just the perfect size for me since I’ve been growing up in a small school. It’s still a D-I school but it’s not huge."

Hailey's junior season included 28 appearances on the mound, going 21-1 with an 0.83 ERA and a minuscule .109 batting average against. At the plate, Hailey went for a .437 batting average and a .485 on-base percentage with 14 doubles and 28 runs batted in.

After initially committing to the University of Illinois-Chicago, Hailey decided that UNI was a better fit. She announced her intention to enroll there last February.

"I'm so excited that my sister chose UNI." Hailey said. "I know she'll do amazing things at UNI and I'm grateful that I get to be a part of it. I'm more than lucky to get to play with Kylee beyond high school.

"It makes me very happy that high school isn't the end of the Sanders sisters."

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