Elizabeth Peery is a national finalist for Major League Baseball’s Pitch, Hit and Run competition
RIDGEFIELD — Elizabeth Peery and her family turned on the TV to find out the news.
They knew she was in the running, that she had a shot to make it to the national finals.
But they had to wait until the official announcements.
Sure enough, Peery heard her name on national television, on the MLB Network.
“I was kind of like in disbelief,” Peery said. “Oh, this is actually happening.”
“This” would be a trip to Cleveland for the finals of the Pitch, Hit, and Run competition, a skills competition for youngsters put on by Major League Baseball.
Peery, a 12-year-old from Ridgefield, won her local event, then sectionals, and advanced to the competition at Seattle’s T-Mobile Park right after a Mariners game. She won there, too.
Across the country and Canada, the top three scorers in each age division earned a trip to Major League Baseball’s All-Star festivities. Elizabeth leaves later this week for Cleveland.
Peery threw out the first pitch Friday at the Ridgefield Raptors game. She has become a bit of a celebrity as she climbed the ladder of success through the Pitch, Hit, and Run contests.
She is also using her time in the spotlight to shine a light on those like her, who have Type-1 Diabetes.
“It doesn’t matter if you have Type-1,” said Elizabeth’s mom, Katie Peery. “You can do whatever you want. She’s proud to be an example for other kids.”
Elizabeth wears an insulin pump while playing the game she loves. She takes it off when she bats, but she wears it in the field.
She was diagnosed two-and-a-half-years ago.
“Can I still play softball?” was her first question.
She not only found a way, but she has excelled in the sport. She plays on the Shockwave travel team, a 14-and-under club, and is considered a top pitcher. She has also played for 16U and 18U teams.
She will be going into the eighth grade, but she is already thinking about college softball, too.
“It’s kind of like a passion for me,” she said. “I’m really determined. I want to go to the highest level.”
Her sport’s skills allowed her to dominate the PHR events.
For pitching, her age group had a small target 35 feet away and athletes scored points for hitting the mark. In Seattle, she connected on five of the six targets.
For hitting, athletes get points for distance and placement.
For running, it’s a race against the clock, from second base to home plate.
“It was kind of intimidating, with everyone watching you,” Peery said of competing in a major league park. “Just take a breath and do what you do.”
After winning in Seattle on Sunday, she had to wait until the next day to find out if her scores were among the top three overall.
Then she saw her name on TV.
The national finals for the PHR is Saturday in Cleveland. Peery will also get a chance to see the all-star game concert, as well as attend the celebrity softball game and the home run derby.
Her club team will miss her during an important tournament this weekend, but everyone understands.
Elizabeth Peery, a young Ridgefield star, has earned her spot to the ultimate all-star experience.