CHICAGO — For the second consecutive year, a Great Falls High pitcher has been named Montana’s Gatorade softball player of the year.
Anna Toon, a 5-foot-10 junior, was named the 2019 award winner on Thursday after helping the Bison to their second consecutive Class AA state championship. Toon posted a 15-2 overall record with a 1.75 ERA. She struck out 114 batters, compared to just 12 walks, in 100 innings pitched for the Bison.
Toon was at her best in last week’s state tournament, pitching three shutouts, including two on Saturday as GFH battled back through the consolation bracket to claim the title. The Bison defeated Billings West 13-0 on that Saturday and then earned two wins over Billings Senior — a 5-4 victory in the first championship and a 7-0 win in the second, winner-take-all championship game.
Offensively, Toon was a .500 hitter with a .963 slugging percentage. She had eight home runs, 38 RBI and 44 runs scored on the season.
“Anna throws hard and keeps hitters on her toes with her change-up,” said Great Falls CMR coach Lindsey Gustafson. “She’s aggressive and has a lot of power. She was consistent and productive for them all year.”
The Gatorade award “recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field,” according to a Gatorade media release. In that regard, Toon has volunteered locally with a recycling company and has served as a youth softball and baseball coach. She also helped organize and run a youth sports camp last summer in Great Falls.
Erin Hocker, a former Great Falls High standout now pitching at Kirkwood (Iowa) Community College, won the 2018 award. Current Montana Grizzly Tristin Achenbach won the award in 2017 (while at Great Falls CMR) and 2016 (while at Conrad-Choteau). Frenchtown’s Morgan Ray, who just finished her collegiate career at Ohio State, won the 2014 and 2015 awards.