ASA to participate in MLB Pitch, Hit & Run
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. --- The Amateur Softball Association is pleased to announce that softball athletes who play ASA have advanced as National Finalists in the 2008 Aquafina Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run competition. The girls listed below range in age groups from 7-14 and will compete in the event using their softball skills on a National stage. The National Finals will take place today Monday, July 14 at 3:15 p.m. (EDT) as part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day at Yankee Stadium in New York.
They represent six difference ASA Local Associations and are thrilled to represent the sport during this outstanding weekend. Raelynn Nichols of Valrico, Fla. who qualified in the 13-14 division is nervous about the competition but thrilled to visit NYC and see the MLB game. She will be attending with her mom Patricia.
“It was just really exciting to advance,” 13-year-old Nichols said. “I have never been to a MLB game and this is a dream come true and something I have always wanted to do. Playing ASA with the 14-Under Florida Fire has helped me a lot because they push me harder to be better. I can’t wait to walk around and visit Times Square.”
Each of the athletes qualified through regionals hosted by ASA local associations including Arizona, Central Florida, Indiana, Maryland/DC (& Piedmont VA), Northern California, Ohio, Sacramento, Southern California, Texas, and West Central Florida.
“We were honored to be selected as a hosting spot for this event,” said Tony Galloway, Central Florida ASA Commissioner. “It was quick to plan with the short notice but we pulled off a great event. One of my board members had done the baseball side of it so it was easy for him to do the softball side. We had a pretty good turn out and everyone was extremely interested to come back next year. It was outstanding to see one of our girls, Alexis Peri of Satellite Beach, Fla., make the finals in NYC and attend the All-Star game in Yankee stadium.”
“Its exciting that is this the first year and we were on the ground floor and our kids didn’t have to go very far,” said Carlton Benton, West Central Florida ASA Commissioner. “We did the finals on Sunday of the State Tournament so it worked out really well. The parents that volunteered were a huge help and I am excited to hear about the New York trip from Raelynn (Nichols) when she returns.”
Below is the list of Softball Qualifiers for the event:
2008 National Finalists – 7/8 year old division
Alexis Yates – Folsom, CA
Representing the San Francisco Giants
Alexis Yates was crowned the Super Regional Champ in Sacramento, CA after posting the fastest 7/8 year old base-running time in the country. Primarily a second and third basemen, Alexis plays for the Sluggers in Folsom, CA, where she batted .764 this year with 13 doubles. She also plays volleyball and soccer, recently scoring 12 goals in 3 games at a select soccer tournament. Alexis also excels in the classroom, currently ranking at the top of her class.
Kaitlyn Anderson – Tucson, AZ
Representing the Arizona Diamondbacks
Kaitlyn Anderson plays for Team Velocity back home in Tucson, AZ. She first advanced by winning the Local Competition offered by Tucson ASA, and then won the Arizona ASA Super Regional, hosted by the City of Maricopa. A 4’6” pitcher and center fielder, Kaitlyn batted .550 this year with 2 home runs. She’s a straight-A student at Mesquite Elementary, and when she’s not playing softball, Kaitlyn enjoys riding bikes and watching her sister’s softball games.
Alexis Peri – Satellite Beach, FL
Representing the Florida Marlins
The All-Around Champion from the Central Florida ASA Super Regional in Orlando, Alexis Peri is a pitcher and shortstop on her Viero Suntree Little League baseball team. Although she’s only 8, Alexis plays all three of her sports – baseball, basketball and soccer, in a 10 & under league. She also plays all three of her sports against the boys. Alexis feels that her strongest skill in the Pitch, Hit & Run is the base-running.
2008 National Finalists – 9/10 year old division
Hannah Foster – Dothan, AL
Representing the Atlanta Braves
The only 9/10 year old competitor to go a perfect 6-for-6 in the pitch competition at her Super Regional, Hannah Foster used a strong pitching performance in the Alabama ASA competition to propel her to the National Finals. A pitcher and first basemen for the Dothan National All-Stars and the Lower Alabama Heat travel team, Hannah began playing at the age of 6 years old. Hannah also excels in basketball and soccer, while making straight-A’s at Northside Methodist Academy.
Taylor Brown – Fillmore, CA
Representing the Los Angeles Dodgers
Taylor Brown was the Fillmore Girls Softball Local Competition Champion before prevailing at the Southern California Super Regional in Bellflower. A 4’3” second basemen for the Fillmore All-Stars, Taylor started playing softball at the age of 4. Taylor lists her strongest skill as the base-running and she used that ability to post the fastest 9/10 year old Super Regional time of the 2008 season. She also made the all-star team in soccer and basketball, while carrying a 4.0 GPA at Mountain Vista Elementary.
Rebecca Boesen – Bradenton, FL
Representing the Tampa Bay Rays
A second basemen for the Palmetto Pride, Rebecca Boesen hit .540 this year with 5 home runs and 62 stolen bases. Rebecca won the Local Competition hosted by Manatee West Little League and had the best 9/10 year old softball hitting score of the season at the Super Regional in Orlando. Rebecca is a member of the Honor Roll at Gable Elementary and has been named the MVP of every tournament she has played in this season.
2008 National Finalists – 11/12 year old division
Sydney Roumeliotis – Paramount, CA
Representing the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Sydney Roumeliotis plays ASA softball in Southern California and has hit 5 home runs this year. She used those hitting skills at the Pitch, Hit & Run Super Regional where she posted the highest softball hitting score of any 11/12 year old competitor in the 2008 season. A pitcher and first basemen, Sydney plays for the 14 & under Bellflower All-Stars at the age of 12. She began playing softball at the age of 4 and also excels in basketball and volleyball.
Savannah Loomis – Roseville, CA
Representing the Oakland Athletics
A winner of the Sacramento ASA Super Regional, Savannah Loomis is a left-handed first basemen and pitcher for the Roseville Heat. Savannah batted .525 with 3 home runs this year from the third spot in the batting order. Also swift on the base paths, Savannah posted the fastest base-running time of the season for the 11/12 year old softball division. She is also strong in the classroom and was on the Honor Roll for the entire year at Silverado Middle School.
Alicia Portillo – Maricopa, AZ
Representing the Arizona Diamondbacks
Alicia Portillo earned a trip to the National Finals by winning the Arizona ASA Super Regional hosted by the City of Maricopa. Although she is only 12, Alicia plays second base and pitcher for the Casa Grande Heat 14 & under tournament team. Her team recently qualified for ASA tournaments in Oklahoma City and Las Vegas. Alicia also plays for the Maricopa Wells Middle School softball team and was named MVP.
2008 National Finalists – 13/14 year old division
Kelsi Chilcote – Poway, CA
Representing the San Diego Padres
Kelsi Chilcote posted the highest 13/14 year old softball hitting score of the season en route to winning the Southern California ASA Super Regional. Kelsi posted a .382 batting average this year with 7 home runs for the Poway Diamonds softball team. Although she did not begin playing softball until the age of 11, Kelsi was recently credited with hitting the longest home run in her league. Kelsi also plays soccer and holds the shot put record for her middle school.
Raelynn Nichols – Valrico, FL
Representing the Tampa Bay Rays
A pitcher and second basemen for the Florida Fire fast pitch softball team, Raelynn Nichols advanced to New York by winning a Local Competition in Valrico and a Super Regional in Winter Haven. Raelynn batted .376 this season with 10 stolen bases and lists the base-running as her strongest skill in Pitch, Hit & Run. She was also a High Honor Roll student this year and the only sixth grader to play for the Mulrennan Middle School volleyball team.
Jackie LaPointe – Ellicott City, MD
Representing the Baltimore Orioles
Jackie LaPointe was the only 13/14 year old competitor in the country to post a perfect 6-for-6 in the pitch competition at her Super Regional. A pitcher and outfielder for the Patriots softball team in Ellicott City, Jackie actually considers the base-running to be her strongest skill in Pitch, Hit & Run. Jackie will represent her favorite team, the Baltimore Orioles, during the National Finals at Yankee Stadium. She also excels in the classroom, making the Honor Roll and winning the Presidential Academic Excellence Award.
Aquafina Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run is a grassroots program that was initiated in 1996 to provide youth across North America with an integrated competition that recognizes individual excellence in core baseball and softball skills. Free to boys and girls between the ages of 7-14, this year’s Aquafina Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run program had more than 600,000 participants through more than 4,000 local competitions. The program features local, sectional and team championship competitions, culminating at the National Finals.
In addition to the Aquafina Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run National Finals, the 24 finalists will make a special trip to DHL All-Star FanFest, an interactive baseball theme park and the largest baseball fan event in the world.
DHL All-Star FanFest will take place from July 11-15 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City.
Gatorade Workout Day is the second day of 2008 MLB All-Star Week events at Yankee Stadium. All-Star Week culminates with the 79th Major League Baseball All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 15.
The 79th Major League Baseball All-Star Game being held at Yankee Stadium in its final season, will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8:00 p.m. (EDT). ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage that will also be available on XM Satellite Radio, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage.
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 83 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 240,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than three million. For more information on the ASA, visit http://www.asasoftball.com/.