RIVERTON – Even though Fremont County School District #25 hasn’t sanctioned girls’ softball there was still a large pull happening at the softball fields off Smith Road in Riverton this past weekend. That’s because the Riverton softball league hosted their first annual softball tournament, hosting teams from Jackson, Lander, Worland and Lovell. 

The tournament was split into three age brackets (14U, 16U & 18U), with Riverton having at least one team in each. Riverton’s girls ended up showing out on their home fields in every bracket, finishing all three age brackets as champions over the rest of the competition. 

“It was a good time, we’re hopefully going to turn it into an annual tournament to get more girls down here and playing,” Missy Metzler of Riverton softball said. “All the girls winning like they did shows that the kids here really do care about softball, they want to do this more often.”

The Riverton 18U team smiled with their trophy after going undefeated at their first home tournament. (p/c Missy Metzler)

Not only did the 16U and 18U teams win their respective brackets against some of the best softball players in the state, they also went undefeated on their way to their championships. The 14U team, which was even playing against girls that were a little older than 14, only lost one game to Worland but stayed trucking forward on their way to their title win. 

On top of all that, the girls were also hosting the tournament which meant they were taking care of the fields between games. 

“They were crazy hard workers,” Metzler said about the girls. “Our city doesn’t do any of the field prep like other cities so they were always helping rake and water the fields, they ran the concession stands, they were doing a lot.”

Riverton’s 16U team also went undefeated against the likes of Jackson and Worland (p/c Missy Metzler).

Now that the girls have proven themselves against some tough competition, they now prepare for the state tournament this weekend in Casper. 

“I’m fairly confident that we will make it to the championship in 16U,” Metzler said confidently. “In 18U I’m not sure where they’re going to end up because we don’t know the teams they’re going to really play … the 14U girls have a lot of new girls, we’ll have to see what they end up doing.”

The 14U team gathered after winning it all on their home fields before heading to State this weekend (p/c Missy Metzler).

No matter how the weekend goes for all the girls, this past weekend’s tournament showed that enough girls around Riverton and Fremont County care about softball. This will hopefully help push the sanctioning of the sport at Riverton High School and Lander Valley High School, as well as other Fremont County schools, which was a secondary thought to Metzler all week long. 

“That’s our hope,” Metzler said. “That’s why we did it … I’m hoping this is enough to show that we can make softball work here.”

By: Shawn O’Brate