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Great Falls High softball young but excited for upcoming season

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Posted at 3:21 PM, Mar 20, 2024

GREAT FALLS — Spring is on the horizon and the Great Falls High softball team is eager to get their season underway. However, this year’s Bison team will have a lot of new faces after graduating seven seniors and only bringing back three varsity returners.

“We definitely will be overlooked and we are definitely a smaller group of girls but as a team, a lot of people have stepped up as leaders and it’s really cool to see everyone getting along,” said senior catcher Mackenzie Noble.

“It’s definitely a little nerve-wracking knowing that Mackenzie, Dakota, and I have pretty big shoes to fill considering the seven seniors we had last year but i think we’re really ready and we’re excited,” said senior pitcher Ashley Boland.

The combination of those two will be a strength for the Bison. Mackenzie says she has been catching for Ashely since they were 10 years old and they have a connection so deep that it translates onto the diamond. They both spoke on how they are able to communicate without words and know what they want to do on the next play.

One of the Bison’s challenges this year will be the lack of experience. Head coach Don Meierhoff told MTN Sports that the keys to winning games this season will be their consistency and thought process.

“The game is a lot faster coming from JV to varsity,” said Meierhoff. “It might take us all year and that’s kind of our goal. We’ll play our best softball at the end of the year so if we have to take some lumps on the way, we’ll take them and we’ll learn from it.”

Although the inexperience will be an obstacle for them to overcome, they still find ways to be competitive and make practices fun. Meierhoff explained that his young team hustles day-in and day-out, and they are always eager to learn.

Meierhoff has been with the Bison for 13 seasons now, and that comes with multiple state titles. As a competitor, he expects his team to play at their full potential despite their age or experience.

“We have a big sophomore class. Now does that say I want to wait until they are seniors before we make a mark in this? Absolutely not,” said Meierhoff. “We got some good fundamentals. We just have to keep pounding what we are doing and hopefully that’ll get us to the top.”