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Nine members of the Rivals 18u Softball team traveled to OKC to play in the OKC Open Softball Tournament and while there visited Devon Park where the Women’s College World Series is played. They are pictured here with the NCAA National Tournament trophy that was eventually won in a 4-Peat history making performance by Oklahoma. Pictured with the trophy are l to r: Dixie Bitner, Delorin Bellomy, Zoe Martinez, Lexi Shotton, Anna Wollert, Hailey Pearson, Maddie Wertz, Savanna Brown, and Mariah Sigala.
Kelli Bitner

Rivals 18U Softball Players Experience a Once in a Lifetime Tournament in Oklahoma City Amid the Womens College World Series

By Betsy Barnett

June 7, 2024

The local Rivals 18U softball team that consists of many of next year’s high school softball players from the area traveled to a huge tournament in Oklahoma City on June 1 and 2 and while playing on the red clay fields in Oklahoma City took time off to attend the quarterfinals round at the Women’s College World Series Championship Tournament that is always held in the city at this time of year.

The local girls enjoyed a day at Devon Park watching some of their all-time favorite teams and players getting to see Texas and Oklahoma play in their respective quarterfinal’s contests. On Thursday, June 6, the Oklahoma girls, seeded #2 in the WCWS, thrilled the softball crowds earning a Back-to-Back-to-Back-to-Back Championship—a Four-Peat—for the first time in women’s college softball history with a 8-4 win over No. 1 seeded Texas.

The Rivals were a part of history and each one of them will never forget how those unbelievable college athletes made them feel as they watched them put everything on the line in a game they love as much as the Rivals players love.

The team was there to play in the annual OKC Open Challenge tournament that is played parallel to the WCWS each year. The Rivals 18U, with just nine on the team who made the long trek to OKC, were in every game in the tournament, but saw some tremendous teams losing all four of their tournament games.

On Saturday, June 1, the Rivals 18U lost to the VOODOO/SABA 18U team, 8-1 and then later that day lost to Epic Premier team, 7-1. On Sunday, June 2 they dropped a 6-2 heartbreaker to St. Louis Pirates-Bone 18U, 6-2, and then finished out the tournament with a 10-3 loss to Pride Prospects 18U. Although they lost every game in the pool play portion of the tournament, they learned a great deal about themselves, especially playing with limited personnel, and saw the level of play they can strive to achieve.

In the first game against VOODOO 18U Savanna Brown was 1-for-1 at the plate leading the Rivals who only had one hit to VOODOO’s 6 hits.

The Rivals used three pitchers in the contest with Delorin Bellomy getting the start in the circle and the loss. Anna Wollert and Mariah Sigala would also put in some work in the this first game of the tournament.

In the second game of the day on Saturday, the Rivals lost to Epic Premier, 7-1. The Epic group utilized 10 hits while the Rivals could only muster two hits against the tremendous pitching they saw at this tournament.

Bellomy and Sigala each collected one hit for the Rivals apiece. A bright spot had the Rivals turning a triple play in the contest.

Wollert led things off for the Rivals in the circle. She surrendered two hits and six runs (five earned) over two and two-thirds innings, striking out three and walking five.

On Sunday morning the Rivals bats were on fire as they out-hit their opponent, 6-2, but lost the game by the same exact score.

Savanna Brown, Dixie Bitner, Anna Wollert, Zoe Martinez, Lexi Shotton, and Delorin Bellomy each collected one hit in the contest.

Wollert led the Rival with one batted in. She went 1-for-2 on the day.

In their final game of the tournament the Rivals got defeated soundly by Pride Prospects 18U by the score of 10-3. The Rivals generated four hits to the Pride’s 11 hits.

Dixie Bitner had a fine game from behind the plate and at the plate both. She would go 2-for-2 with one run scored. Savanna Brown and Maddie Wertz also each got one hit. Brown’s hit was a triple.

Delorin Bellomy started the game for the Rivals where she surrendered five hits and seven runs over two-thirds of an inning, striking out one and walking two.

After attending the Women’s College World Series while in OKC the players on the Rivals 18U should be able to take everything they learned and saw to their next tournament—another big one—at the Diamonds in the Rockies Tournament on June 14, 15, 16 in Gunnison.

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