CHICAGO — Great Falls High senior Erin Hocker has been named Montana’s Gatorade softball player of the year. The Gatorade Company announced its annual softball honors on Monday morning.
Hocker, a senior right-handed pitcher, led the Bison to a 22-0 record, capturing the State AA championship last month in Helena. Great Falls High defeated Missoula Sentinel 14-4 in the title game, becoming the first Class AA program in Montana history to complete an undefeated season.
Hocker became the first Great Falls High softball player to win the prestigious award, after posting a perfect 17-0 record on the mound. She struck out 147 batters and posted an astounding 0.79 ERA in 97 2/3 innings of work. During the postseason, Hocker allowed only six hits compared to 35 strikeouts at Batch Fields in Helena, defeating Helena High (6-2), Missoula Sentinel (12-0) and Sentinel again (14-4).
A complete player, Hocker owned a .294 batting average, a .441 slugging percentage and connected on five doubles on the year. She finished her impressive high school career with 494 strikeouts and a record of 43-10. Hocker and Great Falls High finished runner-up at the state tournament in 2017.
A 12-year member of the Girl Scouts, Hocker has volunteered at the Great Falls Rescue Mission, while also serving as a peer tutor. The secretary of the senior class, she owns a 3.92 grade-point average and is still deciding on her collegiate future. Hocker will receive a $1,000 grant to donate to the national or local youth sports organization of her choice, and will also have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 grant.
Hocker joins an elite group of Montana pitchers to win the Gatorade honor, including Great Falls CMR’s Tristin Achenbach (2016, 2017), Frenchtown’s Morgan Ray (2013, 2014, 2015) and former CMR standout and current Rustler coach Lindsey (Graham) Gustafson (2000).