Belgrade Battery

Belgrade catcher Katie Hoppe, left, and pitcher Erin Elgas are among four Belgrade players selected for the 5th Annual Veterans Memorial Softball Classic.

Rosters for the 5th Annual Veterans Memorial Softball Classic were announced last week, and Belgrade will have four representatives.

Ty Atwood, Haylee Curry, Erin Elgas and Katie Hoppe, who helped the Panthers win a second consecutive State A championship in May, have been selected. The quartet each garnered All-State honors this past spring.

In all, there will be 60 athletes competing on five teams at the two-day tournament, which will be held Aug. 3-4 at the Belgrade Softball Complex.

“The response again this year, it’s been pretty unbelievable,” said organizer James Matter Jr. “It seems to get better every year and we’re very excited.”

Atwood graduated as the program’s all-time leader in home runs (33), while Hoppe hit four homers and led the team in doubles in 2018. Elgas compiled an 11-1 record in the circle, and Curry hit five dingers and led with triples out of the lead off position.

Haylee Curry

Belgrade's Haylee Curry led the team in triples and hit five home runs in 2018.

The five teams are each named after a branch of the military, and Belgrade’s representatives will each be on a different team. Elgas will compete for the Army, while Hoppe, Atwood and Curry will compete for the Air Force, Coast Guard and Marines, respectively.

Atwood, Elgas and Hoppe participated in the tournament a year ago, and Elgas had a memorable opening game for the Coast Guard. She battled current University of Montana pitcher Tristin Achenbach in a pitcher’s duel, and Achenbach helped the Navy prevail 1-0.

“That was really exciting to see,” said Matter Jr. “The show she put on last year against Tristin in the first game was pretty neat. To have her out and Shelby (Martin), Brianna (Hoffman) and Erin Hocker, it should be a pretty amazing event.”

Home Run King

Ty Atwood graduated as Belgrade's all-time home run leader with 33.

Martin helped Helena Capital place third at the State AA tournament, while Hocker led Great Falls to its first title since 2013. Hoffman was the cornerstone of Florence-Carlton, which beat Addy Hultgren and Huntley Project for a second straight State B-C crown.

Butte Central’s Kloie Thatcher and Helena Capital’s Taylor Mathews are also competing again. The duo join Great Falls CMR’s Savannah Voyles (2014-17) as the only four-time participants.

Opening ceremonies will be held on the evening of Aug. 3 as well as the home run contest under the lights. The championship game is scheduled for Saturday evening.

“The last few weeks I’ve just been thinking about where we’ve started and where we’ve come. And the support that we’ve gotten from the local community and the response from the players themselves all across the state, it’s very humbling to think of where its come from where we started,” said Matter Jr. “It’s something special for the players who look forward to this and the coaches who know it’s coming up and want their players to participate.”

5th Annual Veterans Memorial Softball Classic

(Belgrade Softball Complex, Aug. 3-4)


Harold Haughland Army Team

#14 - Jacey Pointer, Shepherd

#4 - Erin Elgas, Belgrade

#5 Madi Moore, Great Falls CMR

#1 - Kassidy Kinzie, Plains/Hot Springs

#6 - Kinzee Mohl, Glacier

#10 - Kinzee Peterson, Havre

#7 - Ryley Kehr, Columbia Falls

#15 - Cayley Bushong, Great Falls

#2 Sydnie Peterson, Anaconda

#8 - Morgan Snow, Frenchtown

#3 - Caitlin Dillon, Hamilton

#11 - Nicky Damjanovich, Billings Central

Head coach: Dean Thompson, Libby

Robert Holton Air Force Team

#15 - Taylor Brinkma, Missoula Sentinel

#1 - Jasmine Spotted Bear, Cut Bank

#4 - Erin Hocker, Great Falls

#5 - Jensen Keller, Billings Senior

#10 - Katie Hoppe, Belgrade

#16 - Carly Tipp, Missoula Loyola

#6 - Whitney Durocher, Conrad-Choteau

#7 - Ashlynn Nixon, Corvallis

#2 - Sara Sumner, Huntley Project

#3 - Autumn Porter, Miles City

#8 - Arena Porter, Miles City

#9 - Natalie Edgas, Hardin

Head coach: Eric Vencent, Great Falls Central

Jerry Phillips Coast Guard Team

#1 - Alexa Kappel, Miles City

#15 - Shelby Martin, Helena Capital

#2 - Avory Escobar, Eureka

#4 - Courtney Nagle, Glendive

#5 - Lauren Gordon, Billings Senior

#6 - Sammee Bradeen, Libby

#3 - Emily Kinnaman, Florence-Carlton

#7 - Sophie Smith, Glacier

#8 - Megan Delaney, Frenchtown

#10 - Trista Cowan, Columbia Falls

#9 - Ty Atwood, Belgrade

#16 - Taylor Mathews, Helena Capital

Head coach: Mike Coleman, Great Falls

Assistant coach: Don Meierhoff

Jay Vee Fried Navy Team

#1 - Addy Hultgren, Huntley Project

#15 - Brynn Leishman, Frenchtown

#4 - Khalyn Hageness, Libby

#5 - Natalie Dulac, Florence-Carlton

#10 - Kaylanna Desjarlais, Polson

#6 - Macy Mangold, Fergus

#16 - Alivia Atlee, Glacier

#7 - Kloie Thatcher, Butte Central

#2 - Kaelyn Smith, Polson

#3 - Tomi Brazill, MAC

#8 - Kayla Daily, Missoula Sentinel

#11 - Cassidy Venner, Billings Senior

Head coach: Lori Goodell, Shepherd

Assistant coaches: Heather Davis, Danielle Robinson

Donald Ruhl Marines Team

#4 - Brianna Hoffman, Florence-Carlton

#5 - Nicole Ames, Helena Capital

#6 - Gabriell Wirz, Ronan

#10 - Jamie Pickens, Helena

#1 - Haylee Curry, Belgrade

#7 - Kelsie Meis, Hamilton

#11 - Molly schmitz, Great Falls

#2 - Sophia Doyle, Hamilton

#12 - Morgan Sunchild, Great Falls

#8 - Quinn Motichka, Polson

#3 - Addi Labrum, Glacier

#9 - Sloan Blankenship, Hardin

Head coach: Troy Waters, Missoula Loyola

Assistant coach: Dan Hirning