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Montana Girls Gain Victory in Pitching Up

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Montana Girls Gain Victory in Pitching Up

Riekena let her team through a tough but educational weekend. Alex Goff photo.

The Montana Girls select side might have lost all of their games at the Great Northwest Challenge, and might have struggled even to score, but even getting to Oregon was a victory.

“It was hard to find girls from all around the state to come and play with us,” said center Julia Riekena, who was one of Montana’s most consistent and hard-working players. “We needed to find what we needed. We knew we needed depth because it would be hot and we would likely have injuries.”

Montana girls and Hawaii girls exchange smiles after Sunday's final game. Owen Goff photo.


But in the end they came with a bare-bones team and played their final match, a 3rd-4th loss to Hawaii, with only 12 players on the field. Still they battled.

“That left more holes so they could cut back on us,” said Riekana. “It was tough. But we’re trying to build something - get more girls out, more teams. We want to get the 8th-graders and younger kids to get into the sport. Most of them don’t even know about it.”

Getting out of Montana and playing against Washington, Oregon, and Hawaii was important.

“It was a great experience,” said Riekana. “Just to see all these other teams and what we want to become and how good we want to be.”