Aug 25, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorManager Mark Stone expects six softball teams for the second annual Riverton High School Fastpitch Invitational scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.
Fastpitch softball is not a sanctioned high school sport in Wyoming.
The tournament format this weekend is round robin.
Games start at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Martha and Everett softball fields in east Riverton.
Teams in the tournament are Riverton, Rock Springs, Casper Fusion varsity and junior varsity, and Gillette Camels varsity and junior varsity team.
Stone is the Riverton manager for the tournament.
"So many athletes are playing sanctioned school sports," Stone said. "It's hard to find enough players to put a competitive team on the field. We are allowed to use players from Fremont County and surrounding counties that don't have a team."
Seven players are from Riverton, four from Lander, one from Shoshoni, and one lives in Worland.
Riverton open noon Saturday against Gillette's varsity program.
On Sunday, Riverton goes at 11 a.m. vs the Gillette junior varsity team. Riverton concludes the tournament at 1 p.m. vs. Rock Springs.
"Unfortunately, this weekend two of our better players are out of town on family vacations," Stone said.
Riverton players on the roster are Katelyn Jennings, Maddie Nipper, Andrea Roseno, Danielle Blanco, Sierra Hernandez, Raven Ablard, Emily Roseno and Charlynn Garcia.
Lander will be represented by Avery Cox, Allison Sollars, Adrienne Mathews and Ronnie Webster.
The Worland player is Zoe Fernandez.
The girls range from sixth grade to 12th grade.
"The Riverton team will be a very young team," Stone said.
There are six members from the U.S. Energy fastpitch team on this team as well.
"Those players will do a good job. They are ready to play at the varsity level," Stone said. "The rest of the team is very young and would be better served playing junior varsity. Since, we don't have the numbers to play junior varsity, we will move them all up to varsity."
Nipper and Jennings are the No. 1 and No. 2 pitchers for Riverton.
"Unfortunately, they are both gone this weekend," Stone said. "That will hurt us immensely. Even though they are both young players they played a key part in the U.S. Energy's summer season and run to the national tournament."
Roseno and Blanco will step in and be the top two pitchers for Riverton.
"Andrea is a new pitcher. This weekend will be her first game action at that position," Stone said. "Andrea is very dedicated player who never misses practice. She has strived to improve herself in every aspect of the game."
Rapp and Hernandez were members of the U.S. Energy team this year.
"They were both utility players for U.S. Energy," Stone said. "They will give us some more experience on the this team. Sierra is a very good utility player that can play almost any position on the field."
The four Lander players competed on an under-14 traveling team last summer.
Sollars is the catcher. Cox will see time on the mound and infield. Webster can play in the infield and outfield. Mathews is going to play at center.
"This will be a very competitive league this year," Stone said. "These teams are coached by the best softball coaches from around the state. We are all just coming off of a very competitive summer season. All of us are using the fall season to develop young players and make our experienced players better."
The U18 national tournament is scheduled to be in Gillette next summer.
"This weekend is just another opportunity for the girls that are serious about softball to get better and improve," Stone said.
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