MILES CITY -- Belgrade softball student-athletes Hazel Eaton and Ellie Milesnick have signed with the Miles Community College Pioneers, MCC announced this week.
Belgrade has won three consecutive Class A state softball championships but jumped to Class AA this school year. Eaton has played a key role in those titles and will pitch and play shortstop for the Pioneers.
"I chose MCC because it's close to home," she said in an MCC release. "I also loved how the campus is small and how everybody is so nice. Being a part of a team that treats each other as a family is probably the No. 1 reason why I decided to go to Miles Community College. I am looking forward to being part of a team that's my family away from home."
Eaton was a second-team all-state selection as a junior last spring.
"She has an excellent softball IQ, a winning mindset and an intense passion that we look for when recruiting student-athletes," said MCC coach Shawna Juarez. "Hazel will make a direct impact, not only on our team, but also our campus and community. She fits into the culture that we have created at Miles. We are excited to have her be part of the MCC Pioneer family and cannot wait to watch her flourish here."
Milesnick is a four-year letter-winning catcher who has also been an integral part of the Panthers' state-championship runs. She said she chose MCC because of its "close family environment."
"Family is something that I value above all else, and I would love to be part of the softball program family," she said. "I want to benefit the new program in any way possible. I'm looking forward to leaving my legacy here in Belgrade and starting a new journey at MCC with my current teammate Hazel Eaton. I look forward to the beginning of something new and my experience away from home."
Milesnick was named to the State A all-tournament team last spring, garnering honorable mention accolades. She had a solo home run in the undefeated semifinal game against Hamilton at last year's state tournament.
"Our coaching staff is excited to add another Belgrade High School student-athlete," said Juarez. "Ellie has been emerged in a tradition of winning and excellence at Belgrade and we fully know that Ellie will bring all of her gifts and talents to our campus. We believe that she will fit into the culture created by Team 1 and buy into our family environment the minute she steps foot on campus. We are honored to have Ellie and know that she will impact our Pioneer community."
All Montana High School Association spring activities are currently suspended until the MHSA reevaluates the growing threat of COVID-19 on April 13. Eaton, Milesnick and Belgrade were set to compete at the Great Falls softball jamboree on March 28, but that event has been canceled. Belgrade's next scheduled game is a home doubleheader against Butte on April 2.