ARLINGTON -- Twenty four kids and their families arrived at Globe Life Park on Saturday morning to take part in the Scotts Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run Texas Rangers Team Championship.Boy and girls, ages 7-14, traveled from as far as Austin and El Paso, Texas -- and several
ARLINGTON -- Twenty four kids and their families arrived at Globe Life Park on Saturday morning to take part in the Scotts Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run Texas Rangers Team Championship.
Boy and girls, ages 7-14, traveled from as far as Austin and El Paso, Texas -- and several cities in Oklahoma -- to take part in the event.
The skills competition split the participants into a softball and baseball division, and into four age groups (7-8, 9-10, 11-12 and 13-14).
The first-place finishers for the softball division were Leah Oldham (Mansfield, Texas), Liberti Simmons (Waurika, Okla.), Paige Willis (Iowa Park, Texas) and Abbey Smith (Austin).
For the baseball division, the first-place finishers were Norman Montion (El Paso), Luke Saunders (Aledo, Texas), Nolan Foster (McKinney, Texas) and Samuel Long (Gage, Okla.).
The winners are eligible to be finalists for the Pitch Hit & Run National Finals, which will take place at Petco Park in San Diego during All-Star Week.
The top 3 scorers from each age group and division between all 30 Team Championships will be selected as a National Finalist.
Finalists receive an all-expense paid trip to the All-Star Game and get to compete on the field before shagging fly balls at the Home Run Derby.
The first-place finishers were also recognized Saturday on the field at Globe Life Park before the Rangers' game against the Mariners.
Ten-year-old Simmons, who finished first for the softball 9-10-year-old division, was a National Finalist in 2014, when she was 8. She got to participate on the field at the All-Star Game that year at Target Field in Minnesota.
Her past success hasn't kept her from embracing the feeling of stepping onto a Major League field.
"When I walked onto the field, I got really nervous. But it was awesome," she said.
Pitch, Hit & Run is the official skills competition of Major League Baseball, and Team Championships are held throughout all 30 ballparks.
National Finalists will be announced in an on-air presentation on MLB Network later in June.
Ryan Posner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Texas.