The Royals had three players selected for Tuesday night’s All-Star Game in Minneapolis.
But there were four players from Kansas City at Target Field. And one is already a winner.
Olivia King of Lee’s Summit won the 9-10 girls division Monday in Major League Baseball’s Pitch, Hit & Run national championships.
There were three finalists at each of eight divisions (four boys, four girls), and the competition to crown a champion was held Monday at the All-Star Game workout day.
The finalists also visited the All-Star FanFest.
“I didn’t know I’d ever get to the All-Star Game,” Olivia told the Lee’s Summit Journal. “I just thought it was competition and you’d get awarded with plaques and medals. I never knew that we get a big surprise like that.”
In March, Pitch, Hit & Run competitions were held at 4,000 sites across North America, where approximately 625,000 boys and girls took part.
According to the Journal, the girls get six chances to throw a softball at a target the size of a major-league strike zone from 35 feet out and receive points for each time they hit the target. They hit a softball off a tee and receive points for distance and how close to the middle of the field their ball lands. Then they are timed at how fast they can run from second base to home plate.
The top three in each age group advanced to sectionals. All 30 major-league clubs played host to team championships on weekends from May 31 through June 29.
According to the Journal, Olivia made it all the way to Kauffman Stadium last year, where she competed against girls from Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and Nebraska. However, she fell short of nationals.
This year was a different story, and she is in good company just making it to the finals. Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer also was a Pitch, Hit & Run national finalist.