Glacier’s Ella Farrell Wins Gatorade Player of the Year Award

Farrell is the second Glacier softball player to earn the award after leading the Wolfpack to a state championship this spring

By Micah Drew
Kalispell Glacier junior Ella Farrell pitches against Helena High on May 8. | Gary Marshall, BMGphotos.com & 406mtsports.com

Glacier High School junior pitcher Ella Farrell has been named the 2022-23 Gatorade Montana Softball Player of the Year, only the second time a Wolfpack player has been recognized for the award.

The annual award recognizes the top player in the state, regardless of school classification. The 5-foot-11 right-handed pitcher and infielder had seven home runs this season, posted a .486 batting average and 42 RBI, leading the Wolfpack to a 20-3 season that culminated with a Class AA State championship. Farrell was also named the Class AA Western Division Defensive Player of the Year after finishing with a 12-2 record from the circle with a 2.30 ERA and 124 strikeouts.

“This award recognizes Ella’s incredible dedication and hard work in the entire last year, not just this season. She approached her offseason work with a single-minded determination to get better and to lead her teammates to success,” Glacier head coach Abby Snipes said. “Ella is a great leader, on and off the diamond, as she leads by serving her teammates, by making them laugh, and by being unapologetically herself. Any time someone tries to direct attention her way, Ella will be the first to point out her teammates’ accomplishments, but her role on this team cannot be overestimated.”

As the Wolfpack won the state championship over Memorial Day weekend, Farrell pitched all but one inning (33 total innings). In the championship game, she also executed at the plate with three hits, a walk and two RBIs in Glacier’s 19-7 victory over Helena. It was Glacier’s first state title since 2015.

“At the state tournament, she was playing on another level entirely, pitching her best when the best was required of her,” Snipes said. “She is an elite softball player, an elite leader, and an elite human being.”

With her senior year still ahead, Farrell will spend one more year with the Wolfpack, cementing her high school legacy while turning her attention towards the collegiate ranks. Her Glacier Gatorade Player of the Year predecessor, Kynzie Mohl, currently plays for the Montana Grizzlies.

Farrell is a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society, earning the Montana Seal of Biliteracy. She also volunteers at local elementary schools helping students with reading and art projects. In the classroom, she has maintained a 4.0 GPA, while on the field she’s a key mentor to younger players, Snipes said.

“Ella brings a lot to the table,” said Butte High School softball coach Ryan Stosich in the Gatorade press release. “Her velocity and ability to hit spots is very tough on hitters. At the plate she can hit to all areas of the field and adjust to offspeed pitches.”

The Gatorade Player of the Year program is in its 38th year and recognizes “not only outstanding athletic excellence but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field.” As part of the Gatorade “Play it Forward” program, Farrell will receive $1,000 to donate to a national or local youth sports organization of her choosing, with the chance of the organization receiving an additional $10,000 Spotlight Grant.

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