Two crosstown softball games helped two of our viewing area schools clinch No. 1 seeds in this years AA State softball tournament at the end of May in Great Falls.
C.M. Russell took the regular season crosstown sweep beating Great Falls High and clinching the Eastern AA No. 1 seed at State. The Bison scored the first run in the very first frame of the game. CMR was right behind when in the fourth inning, senior Julia Schraerer hit a three run homer to give the Rustlers the 3-1 lead. As expected, Bison junior Erin Hocker and Rustler senior Tristin Achenbach would make this game difficult from the pitcher's mound, and both teams showed they could make defensive plays on the bases and in the outfield. However, the Rustlers got to enjoy senior day with a victory.
"It feels good. I think any win feels good. But it was senior night and it was kind of emotional, but it was a good day," said senior Tristin Achenbach.
"Any time that you can get a conference win against Great Falls high is fun. But kudos to them, they played great and Erin had a great day on the mound again and it's one home run and it's a game changer. I was proud of the way that we kept battling and kept getting people on bases but we still have to be more consistent with our sticks," said head coach Lindsey Gustafson.
The Rustlers will finish Eastern AA conference play with a doubleheader against the Butte Bulldogs on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 3:00 and 5:30 p.m.
Both CMR and Great Falls High will finish the regular season on Friday, May 12, 2017 in a non-conference triple header against Sentinel,Hellgate and Big Sky. Games start at 11:00 in the morning at the Great Falls Multi sports complex in Great Falls.
In Helena, Capital and Helena High split crosstown regular season wins. The Capital Bruins are in great shape after beating their rivals 6-3 on Tuesday. The win helped put the Bruins on a seven game winning streak and clinch the Western AA No. 1 seed at State. Against Helena High, the Bruins put the pressure on early as they scored five runs in the first three innings. Pitcher Shelby Martin kept the Bengal bats silent as she only allowed three runs. The Bruins got the spark they needed with four runs in the second, something they used to keep the foot on the gas.
"It was great to just go out there with confidence and know that we were ahead and could do this," said junior pitcher Shelby Martin.
"Well we got a couple of breaks early and got some momentum. In the second inning there we got a lot of girls who hit the ball hard and I thought it was the grit and sticking together. We gave them a couple of extra chances but didn't give up on each other so that kind of helped us through," said head coach Mike Miller.
Capital and Helena High wrap up the regular season on Saturday, May 13, 2017 with non-conference opponents - Billings West and Senior. Games start at noon. Helena High will play at Mihelish Field and Capital at Northwest Park.