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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Staying the course: Glacier to continue diamond success

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Apr. 8—The bad news is that Glacier’s softball team graduated seven seniors last spring — a talented bunch that didn’t play an inning because the pandemic cancelled spring sports in Montana.

The good news is the Pack is still loaded, and intent on making the State AA tournament (in Kalispell this year) for an eighth straight season.

“We are really focused on this year and the future,” said Abby Connelly, now in her sixth season with the program and fourth as head coach. “Our theme is Make Up Leeway.”

The idea is to make up the ground the USS Wolfpack lost last year. Every other team has the same issue; not every team has the stability Glacier has built.

“We have a couple awesome leaders,” Connolly said. “Starting with Kynzie Mohl. She’ll probably start on the mound tomorrow (Glacier hosts Class A Columbia Falls at 5 p.m.), and she is our first D-1 commit in program history.”

Mohl is headed to the University of Montana to play catcher; she’s also among the Pack’s most dangerous hitters.

“I think other teams know how good she is, so she has to be real disciplined at the plate,” Connolly said. “But if it’s anywhere close, she’s a threat.”

Also back is junior Sammie Labrum, who batted leadoff two years ago and is moving one spot over from third base to shortstop.

“She was already a great player, but she’s super diligent and has worked super hard,” Connolly said. “She’s taking over a big role on the infield for us.”

Outfielder and catcher Halle Schroeder, who hit in the two spot in 2019, also returns, as does fellow senior outfielder Kenna Vanorny, who moves into a starting role this year.

Connolly is also excited about a trio of freshmen: Ella Farrell and Kenadie Goudette will pitch and Emma Cooke is listed as an infielder.

Glacier won the State AA title in 2015 and lost to Great Falls Russell in the 2016 championship. Since the school opened its doors in 2007 the program has missed state just twice.

Of course that bears little influence on this year’s team, especially after a year away, but Connolly is confident the program will get back on course.

After Columbia Falls the Wolfpack squares off with Great Falls Russell and Great Falls High Friday, at 3 and 5 p.m. It’s those schools’ first appearance at Glacier’s on-campus fields, which opened in 2017.

“We’re just really excited to get out there,” Connolly said.

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