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Missoula Big Sky entering State AA softball tournament with high hopes

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Posted at 5:58 PM, May 22, 2024

MISSOULA — The Missoula Big Sky Eagles have cruised through the Class AA softball season with an 18-2-1 record.

The Eagles sealed up the No. 2 seed in the Western AA as that's the position they'll take into this week's state tournament in Belgrade.

"We started in early November, you know, hit the ground running, and we knew what to expect," Big Sky head coach Trevor Subith said. "We put in the work, they put in the work, their goal is to hang another state title banner out here on this fence.

"I told somebody earlier this year, it's gonna take a monumental effort to beat this group. And I truly believe that."

With eight seniors on this year's team, Big Sky has seen the program slowly turn around behind this group on the softball field.

After a rough season as freshmen, the Eagles have slowly been building up under Subith and finished in fourth last season as things began to click.

"I think that it was it was really exciting," senior Grace Hood said. "And we were like, we can do this. We have what it takes to be the best team in the state. And I think we didn't really realize that until more towards the end of our season last year. We're kind of hard to beat when our offense is on. And we do everything right on defense."

That carried over to this year, as the Eagles were off and running from the jump, and through a number of close games, proved they have what it takes to maintain success and seal close victories.

"Trevor always says good teams find a way to win," senior Brooke Schaffer said. "And I think he's totally right. We might have a few bad innings, but we come back, eventually, even if it's in the last inning, we just have that grit in us, we don't want to lose, that's just not in our agenda. And I think that's really carried us through."

Now, the Eagles get their tournament underway on Thursday, as the seniors compete in their final run in the program, and hope to bring home a state title to the school for the first time since they went back to back in 2005 and 2006.

"I really loved seeing how we've grown as a team," Schaffer said. "I'm leaving a whole bunch of my friends behind. But I think that they're going to create a great team too. And I think that's just going to be a great team throughout the entire time until Trevor retires or just until we finally hit that wall. But I don't think that's going to be for a long time now."

"Everything changes when you get to that state tournament because a team that hadn't been producing all season could produce at state and that's when it really only matters," Hood added. "So I think that we just have to stay true to ourselves, our team and our offense and our defense and I think we'll be OK."