Two of the Montana softball program’s four incoming freshmen have been named the Gatorade Player of the Year for their home states.

Tristin Achenbach of Great Falls was named the 2017 Gatorade Montana Softball Player of the Year on Monday. Lexi Knauss, of Meridian, received the same award for Idaho.

Achenbach, who also received Gatorade Player of the Year honors last year, gives Pinkerton his most high-profile, in-state signee in his program’s short history.

The six-foot right-hander, who pitched for the Conrad-Choteau co-op team before transferring to C.M. Russell for her senior year, went 17-1 this spring for the state-champion Rustlers. She ended the season with a 0.23 ERA and totaled 264 strikeouts in 122.1 innings.

She allowed only 27 hits, holding opponents to a .068 batting average. She finished her career with 16 state records, including 19 no-hitters and 1,169 strikeouts.

Knauss is a 5-foot-2 middle infielder who played shortstop at Meridian High but most likely projects as a second baseman at Montana.

She batted .552 as a senior with 19 doubles, 11 home runs, 43 RBIs and 50 runs scored as the Warriors went 19-9 and advanced to the Class 5A state tournament.

— Missoulian Staff

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