Battle Ground pitcher commits to UW after season in Montana


After a year at the University of Montana in which Battle Ground grad Rylee Rehbein earned a starting pitcher role, the fastpitch standout has committed to continue her academic and softball career at the University of Washington.

The 2023 Battle Ground Tigers graduate appeared in 31 of 50 games with 14 starts as a University of Montana freshman this last season. Rehbein led the Grizzlies with 73 strikeouts and went 6-5 with a 5.55 ERA with four complete games and one shutout. She now holds the program record with 16 2/3 scoreless innings over three games and was just one strikeout shy of a freshman program record after throwing 12 strikeouts in a 2-0 win over California State University-Bakersfield.

On top of the first-year accolades, Rehbein began her Division I college-level action quickly as she pitched four straight games without allowing a run to start her college career.

“Last year at the University of Montana was honestly a lot of fun, and it was a very memorable experience for me. Aside from softball, I was able to make a lot of friends and get really comfortable within the community of Missoula, itself, and enjoyed being able to spend time with family, as well,” Rehbein said. “But then, within softball, it was a very good learning experience for me. I was fortunate enough to get a lot of playing time and jumped into a starting role pretty early on in our spring season, which was a very good learning experience for me. I was able to not only learn about the game and make adjustments that I had to make, but I was able to grow a little bit as a player and a person, as well.”

After a year of competing in the Division 1 softball world, Rehbein announced on June 23 her commitment to the University of Washington. She said she is looking forward to not just the sport she plays but heading to a top-ranked university.

The decision to leave Big Sky country came down to uncertainty after coaching changes, Rehbein said.

Currently for the summer, Rehbein is in Austin, Texas, playing for the Lone Star State six-team collegiate softball league. This is where Rehbein decided to continue her college career in Seattle.

“It ultimately came down to Washington because of the fact that it opened up a lot of opportunities for me academically as well as athletically for reaching some of my biggest dreams that I’ve had,” Rehbein said, adding she is looking forward to playing on the biggest stage while opening the door to great academic opportunities.

Rehbein will study sports broadcasting, which has been an interest of hers since she was little.

“I was interested in sports broadcasting I feel like from a really, really young age. I think I was 5 or 6 years old,” she said. “My brother would race Motocross, and I would always pretend to interview him afterwards or things like that. I honestly just like watching TV and seeing everybody that would interview at NASCAR races, football games, baseball games and then, of course, all the sports broadcasters for softball.”

The University of Washington has left the PAC-12 conference to play in the BIG-10 conference. The first season of BIG-10 play for the Huskies happens to be when Rehbein begins her tenure on the softball team. The national stage will be even bigger for Rehbein and the Huskies, who finished last season ranked 26 in the nation.

“I’m really looking forward to playing alongside girls who have similar dreams to me and similar goals as me, as well as being able to play and work with coaches that are going to be able to help me grow each year and help me get better each year and just really help me grow not only as a player but as a person, too,” Rehbein said. “I really think Washington is going to be the perfect place for me to do that.”