HELENA — An undefeated season, 22-0. The Great Falls High softball team became the first-ever Class AA team to go undefeated and win the state championship on Saturday. The Bison defeated Missoula Sentinel at Batch Fields 14-4 in six innings for the record-breaking title.
Great Falls High started out fast in the championship, as Morgan Sunchild, Cayley Bushong, and Rachel Porter all hit home runs in the bottom of the first inning, resulting in a 4-0 lead. Sentinel made a run in the top of the third to tie the game at 4-4, but it would be all Great Falls from there.
The Bison would reel off 10 runs over the next three innings the Bison en route to a victory.
Senior starting pitcher Erin Hocker finished the season 16-0 on the mound and, after giving up those four runs, did not allow a Sentinel runner to reach second base.
Great Falls High and Great Falls CMR have now won five out of the past seven State AA championships. The Bison lost to the Rustlers in the 2017 state championship.
“It’s a great feeling, the girls deserve it so much. They’ve worked so hard this year,” said Great Falls coach Mike Coleman, who also guided the Bison to the championship in 2013. “They told me before the season that they wanted to win a state championship and they worked hard enough to do it. To be undefeated also, that’s just an extra added benefit. They’ve deserved it.”
“I just have no words for it, so so amazing. Just to do it with this group of girls who I’ve grown up with and just to end a career that way, you can’t ask for anything better,” said Bison senior Molly Schmitz. “That was a perfect season, that was a perfect team, and it’s a perfect feeling.”