GREAT FALLS – A different school and a higher classification didn’t stop Tristin Achenbach from dominating.
The senior pitcher at Great Falls CMR was named the 2017 Montana Gatorade Softball Player of the Year for a second consecutive season after transferring from Choteau last summer.
Achenbach was lights out on the mound, posting a 17-1 record with a 0.23 ERA. She struck out an incredible 264 batters in just 122.1 innings of work – leading the state in nearly every statistical pitching category.
She allowed just 27 hits all season long and held opponents to a .068 batting average. At the plate, she batted .408 with six doubles, 22 RBI and a .605 slugging percentage.
She ended her prep softball career with 16 state records, including 55 career doubles, 56 consecutive pitching wins, 19 no hitters and 1,169 strikeouts. She won two Class B/C state championships with Conrad-Choteau in 2015 and 2016 before leading the Rustlers to a State AA championship last weekend in Great Falls.
Achenbach maintained a 4.0 GPA and, along with CMR teammate Savanna Voyles, will join the Big Sky Champion Montana Grizzlies softball team.
“Tristin has put together one of the finest prep careers in Montana history,” said Mick Morris, Achenbach’s coach with Conrad-Choteau, in a Gatorade press release. “In addition to her prowess on the mound, she is also an incredible offensive player.”
“Obviously Tristin, she’s an unbelievable kid,” said CMR head coach Lindsey Gustafson last week after her team won the Class AA state championship. “Montana probably won’t see another one for quite some time because she’s one of a kind. It’s been an amazing run for the year that we had her. I’m so proud of the way that she competes on the mound. I wish her and Savanna the best at the U of M.”
Achenbach has volunteered locally with the Great Falls Rescue Mission and as a youth softball and basketball coach. She is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year award to be announced later this month. She is the fourth Gatorade Player of the Year from Great Falls CMR following Lindsey (Graham) Gustafson (2000), Bobbie Lee (2007) and Maghan Yurek (2008).
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Achenbach will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. Twelve spotlight grants – one for each sport – will be announced throughout the year.