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Columbia Falls still celebrating first state softball championship

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Posted at 5:13 PM, Jun 06, 2023

COLUMBIA FALLS — After capturing the first softball state title in school history, the Columbia Falls Wildkats are still soaking in the win and all the craziness that led up to their historic feat.

"You're just sitting out there, your heart's pumping, and that first pitch is thrown, and you're all good," said junior catcher Demye Rensel.

Yet that first pitch didn’t come quite on time.

"Going through the whole tournament, being able to get to that final game, stakes are high, we're there at the field about to get announced, heart's pumping… and then the rain comes," said Rensel with a laugh.

After the championship game was relocated from Belgrade to Gallatin due to hail, thunder, lightning, and even a funnel cloud, the craziness wasn’t over with the sprinklers popping on at the new field.

"I mean, it was so fitting for the day we've had, so fitting, out of everything that could happened, those turn on and we just go, oh my gosh," said Rensel. "We were right there. We were so excited, and then that happened and we couldn't do anything else but laugh."

Once the chaos finally settled the Wildkats closed out the game with a comfortable 8-2 win over Billings Central.

"Last one was pitched, I knew it was a strike, I knew it was a strike when I caught it," said Rensel with a smile. "In my head it's insane, unbelievable. Everybody's running towards the pitcher's mound, it was immediate tears for the whole team."

While elated with the first State title in program history, the accomplishment was no easy task.

"It was … it was hard," said fellow junior and third baseman Haden Peters. "Even to get the championship and that's never been done before by the Wildkats. It was insane, and to be able to say that I was on the first team to take home a state title for softball it's pretty cool."

Despite their 24-3 season capped off with the state title the Wildkats already have their eyes set on next year.

"We do lose four strong seniors but I'm really excited to see the big class coming in next year," said Peters with an optimistic smile. "And I'm really excited to see what they can bring to the team."