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Teenage girl leads way at Comerica Pitch, Hit & Run

Eight regional winners have chance to attend national competition in Cincy

DETROIT -- Kaitlyn Brannstrom's throw bounced off the backstop and rolled back to her feet. As the Pitch, Hit & Run participant prepared for her next toss, the chain structure began to tip, nearly clattering to the ground before a volunteer righted it.

The moment was one of several highlights for the Brannstrom family on Saturday morning at Comerica Park. Kaitlyn won the 13-14-year-old girls' group, while her sister, Erin, finished second in the 9-10-year-old girls' division.

The eight Detroit winners were set to be recognized during a pregame ceremony before the Tigers face the White Sox on Saturday afternoon. If any of them place in the top three of their age group nationally -- regional competitions are taking place at all 30 Major League ballparks -- he or she will be invited to the national competition during All-Star Week on July 13 prior to the Home Run Derby in Cincinnati.

The finalists will be announced June 28 on MLB Network.

Kaitlyn certainly made a case for herself on Saturday. During the hitting portion of the competition, she launched three of the deepest fly balls of the morning from any group.

"Kaitlyn is always shooting for the stars," said her mother, Kathy.

The event marked Kaitlyn's sixth time competing at this level of Pitch, Hit & Run, according to her family.

"Being able to be on the field was fun, because not a lot of kids get to do that," Kaitlyn said. "I'm very happy that I can go out there."

Erin, meanwhile, experienced Pitch, Hit & Run at Comerica Park for the first time, and she also impressed with solid swings.

"It was a big step for her to make it here," Kathy said.

The complete winners of each group on Saturday at Comerica Park included:

Madison Stager of Flat Rock, Mich. (7-8 girls)
Jennifer Henegar of Woodhaven, Mich. (9-10 girls)
Indeya Roberts of Muskegon, Mich. (11-12 girls)
Kaitlyn Brannstrom of Galesburg, Mich. (13-14 girls)
Tyler Finkbeiner of New Baltimore, Mich. (7-8 boys)
Joshua Kasner of Algonac, Mich. (9-10 boys)
Jayce Warren of Bridgman, Mich. (11-12 boys)
Shane Rakowski of Livonia, Mich. (13-14 boys)

Alejandro Zúñiga is an associate reporter for Follow him on Twitter @ByAZuniga.
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