GREAT FALLS – The Great Falls High and Great Falls CMR softball teams made their season debuts Wednesday against Helena with mixed results.
The Bison dominated their matchup against the Bengals, jumping out to a 7-0 lead in the second inning and coasting to an 11-0 mercy rule win in five innings. Returning all-state pitcher Erin Hocker earned the win for the Bison.
In the second game, Helena bounced back against the defending Class AA champion Rustlers with a convincing 10-6 win. Mariah English earned the win on the mound with a seven-strikeout complete game.
Helena scored four runs against Rustler starter Madi Moore in the first inning and held off several comeback attempts. Freshman Kylie Allen hit a two-run home run in the third inning to cut the lead to 6-4, but Helena scored two more in the fourth inning to add some cushion.
CMR (0-1) and Great Falls High (1-0) will host East AA opponents Bozeman and Senior in a doubleheader on Saturday, while Helena (3-2) will hit the road to face Kalispell Glacier and Flathead.