On Wednesday, C.M. Russell senior softball players, Savanna Voyles and Tristin Achenbach have made their commitment official to play college softball at the University of Montana next season. In front of family and friends, shortstop Voyles and pitcher Achenbach signed their letters of intent. Savanna, a nominee for the Montana Gatorade Player of the Year award last season, won a Class AA state title with the Rustlers after defeating Glacier in the 2016 state title game. During Voyles junior campaign, she had 45 hits, 40 RBI's, 47 runs and 13 home runs. Before Achenbach transferred to CMR, she helpd her previous team, Conrad-Choteau win it's second consecutive B-C state title, after defeating Huntley Project in the championship game last year. Duriing her state run in 2016, Achenbach had 57 strikeouts, two no-hitters and a perfect game in the championship. Tristin was also named the 2015-2016 Montana Gatorade Softball Player of the Year.
"It feels really exciting. I've know I was going to go there for a while now. I'd finally make it official it feels great. I'm excited to be a Rustlers this year and be with these teammates and play with Savanna and get to go into next year and get to be with her next year. It's going to be really great. I'm really excited," said senior Tristin Achenbach.
"I honestly don't know what to think right now. It's still kind of shocking to me. I'm really excited and happy that I get to play for the Griz. She is one of my best friends and it's nice that we have a connection like that and get to go to college together and play together," said Savanna Voyles.
"To see two go to such an elite program. It's awesome and it's fun and it shows the younger kids; you can do this. If you keep working hard and setting your goals. I think they are great models for younger kids and kids in our own program. It's great for the city of Great Falls and our program," said head Rustlers softball coach Lindsey Gustafson.
Several Great Falls High athletics also signed their letters of intent on Wednesday to include senior guard Hannah Collins. She committed to play basketball for MSU-Billings. Hannah also helped the Lady Bison get to last year's Class AA state title game. In addition, Brendan Howard also officially signed to play basketball for Eastern Washington next season. During his junior campaign, he average 25.1 points per game and 10.4 rebounds. He was also awarded the 2015-2016 Montana Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year award. Finally, track star Morgan Evans signed to Montana State for track and field and Emma Madsen also signed to play basketball at California Baptist.
In addition, the Montana Lady Griz Women's Basketball Team's Twitter page sent out a nice tweet welcoming their newest commit, Malta senior guard Sophia Stiles. Stiles committed to Montana back in early September, as she'll play under first year head coach Shannon Scheweyn. Sophia was also the 2015-2016 Montana Gatorade Girls Basketball Player of the Year. She also helped Malta win a Class B State title over Fairfield. This is the 10th state championship title for the Malta girls basketball program, which is currently an all-time girls state championship record.
Finally, the Glasgow Scotties twitter page also tweeted out a signing day photo of senior Benji Phillips who is signing to participate on the track and field team at North Dakota State University. He will throw the javelin for the Bison next season. Last year, Phillips won the Classs B Javelin state title.