High School SportsHigh School Softball


Kalispell Glacier has eyes set on repeating as state softball champion

Posted at 11:26 AM, Apr 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-10 14:27:13-04

KALISPELL — Last year, the Kalispell Glacier Wolfpack won the Class AA state softball championship, and with most of the team returning this year, they have their eyes set on a repeat.

"Last year was something really special and a lot of these girls helped create that, the girls that are still on this team, so I'm really looking forward to just the environment that I'm in when I'm playing softball," said senior captain Emma Cooke. "And then we have a lot of skill and talent on this team, so I'm looking forward to seeing myself and my teammates just grow as characters and as softball players."

After capturing the second state championship in program history, and first since 2015, the Wolfpack are hungry for more.

"Being state champions last year kind of sets a goal for us this year," said fellow senior captain Kenadie Goudette. "But we're going in having fun and not really be putting all the pressure on our back even though it basically is."

Ella Farrell, the reigning Gatorade Montana softball player of the year, knows above the state aspirations most of the team hopes to simply enjoy the final year of high school softball.

"I feel like it's something that, you know, you've worked like all four years for, senior year. It's like you want to go out with bang," said Farrell. "But I think that my goal for this season is to just have fun with my teammates because it's the last time ever I'm gonna play with them."

Head coach Abby Snipes was named the 2022-23 Class AA softball coach of the year after the team's 19-7 championship win, but she gives all the credit to her players.

"I don't know if I've ever worked with a group of girls that just care about each other so much," said Snipes. "I think they come every day, and they hold each other accountable, but they also have a lot of fun playing softball.

"And I mean, obviously I'm a little biased, but I think it's the most fun game on the planet and so I think to get to work with people who are truly enjoying themselves and truly just supporting and being kind to each other is just a privilege."

As the team only graduated three players last year, most of this year's core is made up by seniors. After winning state with a younger squad last year, the expectations are high this season.

"You want to do the best because you know that last year you won the state title and you have to defend it," said Farrell. "I think that just gave us a lot more energy during practices and open gyms to really propel us forward into the season."

Glacier outscored opponents 22-0 in its first two games of the season before suffering a 5-1 loss to Missoula Big Sky on Tuesday. Much of the strong start can be attributed to the Wolfpack's desire to repeat as state champs.

"It's definitely helped boost our intensity," said Cooke. "Definitely in practice, we're working just as hard or even harder than last year because we want to be able to do that again because that's pretty rare to be able to win a state championship two years in a row. But I do think we have the potential to do it, so we're all working really hard trying to do it again."