Imagine a shot at winning it all at the Major League All-Star Game.
We're talking about the Pitch, Hit & Run contest in Minneapolis, site of the All-Star Game.
And one 12-year-old girl from Chattanooga has made it to the final three in the country within her age group.
Her name is Madison Hayes, a student at East Hamilton Middle High.
This morning, Hayes worked on distance and accuracy with her bat in hand. She's aiming at a measuring tape stretched out 200 feet. The contest determines a winner by measuring how close they come to the tape and how far each contestant hits the softball.
Hayes said, "I'm basically having fun, I'm excited that I'm going."
For Madison, running is her strongest part. She sprinted 160 feet from the outfield, rounding third and then racing home. Her time, 8.43 seconds.
And Madison got to the nationals by winning local, state and regionals. Her mother's the director of recreation for the City of Chattanooga. Greta Hayes was beaming, "I think I'm probably more excited than she is. I'm just really proud of her and proud of her being able to represent our city, our department, her school and she's just a great kid."
Her dad Adrian's been right at her side. "You need to come around quicker," he gently suggested to his daughter as she was taking batting practice.
The City's sports coordinator Richard West has also been instrumental. West said, "If you're fortunate enough to make it to the national level, they treat them like kings and queens."
Listen to Madison's schedule. She and her mother leave on Sunday. They have dinner with everyone in Minneapolis. Next, the All-Star fan fest.The actual competition happens on Monday.That evening, the contestants will watch and shag balls at the Home Run Derby.Then, it's the All-Star Game itself.
Hayes is excited, "I think that's a big deal, this is like my first time right now, so I think that's really big to me. So, I was really happy when I heard my name (called as a winner of the regional competition and advancing to the finals)."
Each contestant will throw six pitches, gets three swings of the bat and one timed sprint.
We wish Madison Hayes the very best.
by John Madewell