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At home on the diamond: Conway's baseball upbringing leads to so - KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana

At home on the diamond: Conway's baseball upbringing leads to softball success

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Great Falls High School outfielder Sarah Conway Great Falls High School outfielder Sarah Conway

By most measures, Great Falls High School outfielder Sarah Conway is a typical freshman whose thoughts are consumed by the prospect of playing in her first Class AA State Tournament.

“It’s so distracting,” Conway said. “We’re so close! It’s almost here and then in class I have to remind myself. What was I doing? Oh… school.”

But on the softball diamond, Conway is anything but a typical freshman. Her combination or speed, power and toughness have earned her a starting spot in centerfield where she routinely makes spectacular catches that most freshmen rarely pull off. 

“Sarah is probably one of the most physical girls on the team,” said head coach Mike Coleman. “You hit it somewhere she’s going to dive trying to catch it. She has a tremendous arm, and she’ll go after anything.”

And while most of her teammates cut their teeth on ASA teams like the Electric City Heat or the Great Falls Selects, Conway took a different route to the Bison. She grew up in Belt where her only option to get on the diamond was to play little league baseball with the boys. 

“I started playing baseball as soon as I could run,” Conway explained. “I watched my brothers play and I always kind of just wanted to play.”

But was she any good?

“You know, sometimes it was hard because boys are usually faster than girls.”

She laughs. 

“But I’m pretty fast too!”

Coleman has been involved in youth softball for years and claims Conway is the first player he’s coached that made the transition from baseball to softball. 

“She’s as good as any boy I’ve ever seen,” Coleman said. “And she’s better than most girls. It made her tough and we’re happy to have her out in centerfield.”

Eventually, Conway made the transition to softball and is making a huge impact for the Bison. Earlier this year, she broke a state record by driving in twelve runs on three home runs in a 30-12 win over Flathead. When someone informed her that her feat was historic, she was shocked.”

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Conway. “I was like whoa I’m not that good! This must be fake.”

But she is that good. And on a young team with talented players like Cayley Bushong, Erin Hocker and Molly Schmitz among others Sarah can only get better. Coach Coleman knows the future is bright for the Bison. 

“I think our program is going to be really tough the next couple years,” Coleman said. “We have some more really good freshmen coming in next year too. The sky’s the limit for these girls as they just put it all together and keep getting better.”

The Bison open the state tournament in Kalispell against Helena Capital, Thursday at 4pm. 

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