Among the powerful bats of newly crowned State AA champion Great Falls High on the Great Falls Tribune’s Super-State Softball team are a handful of western Montana players.
Frenchtown’s Morgan Ray, Kalispell Glacier’s Jena Willis, Missoula Big Sky’s Jess Schafer and Polson’s Shalaina Duford were all listed when the Tribune came out with its post-season team this past Sunday.
Ray pitched Frenchtown past Polson for the State A championship this season while posting a 14-1 record with a 0.91 ERA and striking out 203 batters in 107 innings pitched. She also hit .482 with six home runs and 39 RBIs. She added 38 runs scored. She was named Montana’s Gatorade Player of the Year last week. Though just a sophomore of the class of 2015, Ray has verbally committed to play softball with Ohio State.
Willis led Glacier to its first Western Division title in school history and a third-place finish at the State AA state tournament. She hit .394 with eight homers and had a 7-0 record with a 2.96 earned run average during the regular season for Glacier, striking out 108 hitters in 76 innings this season, including 15 against Billings West in the state tournament’s second round. Willis is headed to Division-III Crown College in St. Bonifacius, Minn., next year.
Schafer hit .483 with nine home runs and 29 RBIs as the Eagles qualified for the State AA tournament. She was a three-year starter and will continue her career at Spokane Community College next year.
Duford pitched the Pirates to three straight State A titles before a runner-up finish this season. She posted a 25-3 record and a 1.77 ERA with 172 strikeouts and also hit .465 with five home runs and 39 RBIs. She will continue her career at Spokane Falls Community College next year.
Class AA schools dominated the Super-State Softball squad with 12 of the 14 selections. Great Falls High led all schools with three picks, followed by two AA runner-up from West.