HELENA — Undefeated and top-ranked Great Falls High will be the favorite at the Class AA state softball tournament at Batch Fields later this month. The Bison clinched the Eastern AA conference’s No. 1 seed this week, after defeating then-second-place Butte in a doubleheader.
The losses to the Bison dropped the Bulldogs to third in the Eastern AA, with Billings Senior climbing into the No. 2 slot in the conference standings. The Broncs host No. 7-seeded Bozeman in the playoffs next week. Games are slated for Thursday, May 17 in the Magic City, with opening pitch set for noon.
Senior outscored Bozeman 72-5 in four games during the regular season.
The Mining City will still host a playoff, with Butte welcoming Billings Skyview in the No. 3 vs. No. 6 contest. The Bulldogs defeated the Falcons on April 28, sweeping Skyview by scores of 5-1 and 10-3. Butte and Skyview meet on Tuesday afternoon in a best-of-three series.
Billings West and Great Falls CMR meet in the final playoff series in the Eastern AA. The two-time defending champion Rustlers have lost all three contests against the Golden Bears this season. The two clubs square off on Wednesday afternoon, with the winner advancing to the state tournament.
All playoff series are best-of-three, with the first team to win two games advancing to the state tournament in Helena on May 24-26.
This weekend marks the final games of the regular season, with both conference and nonconference matchups scheduled across the state. The Western AA will conclude its final league games of the year before finalizing its playoff schedules.
The Eastern AA playoff schedule can be found below.
Eastern AA softball
1. Great Falls High (receives bye to state tournament)
2. Billings Senior
4. Billings West
5. Great Falls CMR
6. Billings Skyview
Tuesday, May 15
Billings Skyview at Butte — noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. (if necessary)
Wednesday, May 16
Great Falls CMR at Billings West — noon, 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. (if necessary)
Thursday May 17
Bozeman at Billings Senior — noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. (if necessary)