GREAT FALLS — One year after an undefeated state championship season, the Great Falls High softball team is ready for another run at the Class AA title, except this time, two players for the Bison will be on the field instead of watching.
Bison softball players Shea LaRocque and Rachel Porter both missed time during last year’s state championship season. LaRocque had a broken foot, an injury that didn’t completely heal until this school year.
Though LaRocque was happy for her teammates last year, the pitcher is grateful to be back on the field herself, prepping for the state tournament.
“It felt really good. I’m just really happy that my foot’s been holding up so far. I hope it continues to do that,” LaRocque said.
Her battery-mate Porter injured her shoulder last year diving for a ball. She got bicep tendinitis, ending her season. For state this weekend, Porter is excited to show her teammates what she’s got.
“I’m really excited just to prove my worth to the team and let them know that I’m here to do the job of winning state,” Porter said.
Bison head coach Mike Coleman had high praise for both players.
“Shea’s a real gamer. She fights hard. She about missed the whole season last year with that broken foot,” Coleman said. “She came back this year and pitched, came to all the open gyms, pitched a lot and got in shape. She’s doing real well. Hitting the ball real well and throwing real well.”
“With Rachel it’s the same way. She’s a great defensive catcher and a great hitter,” Coleman continued. “Getting her arm healed up and stuff has been a big plus for us, so we hope it stays that way through the weekend.”
The Bison open the state tournament this Thursday in Butte at 4 p.m. against Helena High.