Carroll College softball coach Aaron Jackson announced his recruiting class Monday, including three Montanans. The Class is highlighted by First-Team All-State performer Katie Huisman of Great Falls, All-Conference outfielder Chelsea Todd out of Missoula Big Sky and the return to Helena of Capital High standout Emily Hill who is transferring to Carroll from Concordia, Oregon.
The Saints also signed a pair of out of state prospects. Including Brooke Brewer, an outfielder/second baseman from Phoenix, Arizona, and Natalie Gaber, a middle infielder/outfielder from Littleton, Colorado.
"It is with great excitement that I announce my 2017 recruiting class," Jackson said. "I believe that we were again able to add great students and great players from across the West. The 2017 class is a versatile class. All of our incoming players can play multiple positions. This class will push our returners and create competition within our team which will make us better overall and should produce positive results on the field. Not only are we adding great players but also great people and students, which will make Saints softball stronger on and off the field."
Hill, an infielder, returns to Carroll after a year at Concordia that saw her record one hit on five at-bats while earning three walks in limited action. In 2016, as a senior at Capital, she was First-Team All-State and earned 2016 Helena Independent Record Player of the Year honors.
She was a three-year letter-winner in softball, a two-year letter winner in volleyball and earned one letter in basketball.
Academically she earned a 3.7 GPA and was a four-year honor roll student. She comes from a strong athletic tradition and has family ties to Carroll. Her father played college baseball, and her grandfather played college football both at the University of Wyoming. Her mother Renee McMahon is the director of Human Resources at Carroll and her stepfather Mike McMahon has had a big impact on her softball career as a coach for both her high school and club programs.
"Emily comes in as a transfer from a very good program in Concordia of Portland," Jackson said. "It is exciting to have Emily come back home and have an opportunity to play in front of her friends and family. I look for her to be a solid utility player and compete for innings throughout the year. Emily is a strong student, and we are excited that she is back in Helena."
Huisman comes to Carroll off of a stellar career with the back-to-back state champion C.M. Russell. She was a three-year letterman at the catcher position and earned second-team all-conference honors her sophomore year, First-Team All-State recognition her junior year and Honorable Mention honors her senior year.
She was named the Offensive team MVP her junior year and the Defensive MVP her senior season. She earned letters for three years.
Academically, she earned a 3.92 GPA, was a four-year honor roll student and a member of the National Honor Society.
"I am excited to add another state champion from C.M. Russell High School," Jackson said. "Katie comes from one of the best programs in Montana and has been prepared to play at the college level. She is a catcher/utility player with a strong bat. Katie is an example of being persistent as she has attended every camp that we have offered, and those looks are what earned her the opportunity to become a Fighting Saint."
Todd brings a strong resume as an outfielder. She was an all-conference player in 2016 and a second-team All-Conference catcher in 2017. Outside of softball, she was an all-conference soccer player at the goalkeeper position and also played basketball for the Eagles.
She was a nominee for the KPAX Student-Athlete of the Year for the Missoula area.
She earned a 3.15 GPA and was a member of the Health Science Academy for all four years of her high school career.
"Chelsea is a versatile player as she has earned all-conference honors at both outfield and catcher," Jackson said. "A decorated athlete in three sports I look forward to the versatility she brings to our team."
Brewer was a three-year letter-winner at Sandra Day O' Connor High School. She tallied a .328 batting average and a .416 on base percentage during her junior year. During her senior campaign had a .338 batting average and a .397 on base percentage.
Her team won a state championship in 2015 and made the final four in 2016. She closed her career with one final state tournament appearance in 2017. She tallied a 3.59 GPA and was an honor roll student. She was named the Sandra Day O'Connor Student of the Month during 2017.
"Brooke will be joining her old high school teammate Brooke Brown and continues a line of commitments from Sandra Day O' Connor High School in Phoenix," Jackson said. "Having won a state championship and qualifying for PGF Nationals with her summer team Brooke brings great playing experience to our team. Brooke is a solid outfielder and is a lefty slapper with power."
Gaber had a stellar career at Chatfield Senior High. She was a four-year letter winner in softball and received second-team all-conference honors all four years. She was nominated for All-State honors.
Her team made state tournament appearances in 2013 and 2015. She also has a strong club resume with a ninth-place finish at the 2016 TC Nationals.
Academically, she carried a 4.5 weighted GPA and was a four-year honor roll student. She earned distinguished scholar honors, was a member of the National Honor Society and the Science National Honor Society.
"Natalie comes to the Fighting Saints from Colorado and has played on one of the top travel ball teams from Colorado: the Colorado Styxx," Jackson said. "Natalie is a middle infielder that can play both short and second. Not only is Natalie a great player on the field but is an outstanding student."
The group joining a squad that will begin the fourth year as a program in 2018 and hopes to bring everything together for a run at the Cascade Conference.