RIVERTON – Last year the Riverton and Lander softball leagues went to the Fremont County School Board and requested that their sport of girls’ softball be sanctioned as a high school sport, much like girls’ wrestling was this past summer, and with no resolution on that subject yet the Riverton League has started their preparations for the 2023 season. 

The Riverton Fastpitch Softball League had 184 players last year, a new high for the group of coaches and parents who help keep the league on its feet every year, but this year there is hope that they break that number and enter a new realm. 

“We had a lot last year but the hope is for above 200 this year,” Missy Metzler, president of the Riverton Girls Fastpitch Softball league said. 

With no word yet on the sanctioning of the sport, Metzler has helped put 13 girls from the local area (eight from Riverton, four from Lander and one from Shoshoni) on the Worland High School team for the upcoming season. 

“It gives them something to do in the summer, gets them out and active and teaches them about team sportsmanship — it’s important,” Metzler said. 

Not only is it more affordable — $50 gets you a jersey and a spot on a team — but it’s a fun atmosphere that still brings competitive spirit and play to every at bat. The reason it’s so cheap is because Metzler and the rest of the Fastpitch Softball League try to keep costs down with fundraisers like the upcoming liquor wagon, or the Eileen’s Cookie Dough giveaway in April. 

“It helps with them, it helps us,” Metzler said. “We try to keep costs low to help accommodate everyone. We want everyone to play if they want to.”

Metzler, and many who have played the sport, know that if the girls of Fremont County even play in one softball game, they will be hooked. 

“Come to the fields on a Tuesday or Thursday night and you’ll fall in love with it,” Metzler said. “It’s the community that comes along and watches, it’s like a sisterhood in the dugout and it combines a team sport and individual sport. It’s really like a sisterhood.”

The Riverton Fastpitch Softball League is currently taking applications to play on their brand new website, a third-party site that can be found at tshq.bluesombrero.com, and Metzler is confident that the girls this year can make it back to the state tournament which will be held in Casper this year after multiple heat strokes occurred last July. 

March 6 marks the beginning of their practice season with the first games not happening until the second week of May, right at the end of school when kids and their parents are finding ways to work around summer boredom and parents’ work schedules. 

Good luck to everyone participating in fastpitch softball this year and hopefully the vast numbers of girls playing will spark the WHSAA and Fremont County to sanction the sport as a high school activity so more girls will be able to use it to prop themselves up into college athletics!

By: Shawn O’Brate