Fairfield’s Holderied wins national Pitch, Hit & Run title
Her softball teammates had voted for her so Kylee Holderied figured, why not? The Pitch, Hit and Run competition sounded like a pretty cool thing so the 12-year old Fairfield Little Leaguer decided to go ahead and try out.
“The coaches told us about it during Little League that some kids were going to be able to compete in it,” Holderied said. “Our team voted for players to compete in it and I was one of the players voted (to try out) on my team.”
First, she competed in the local competition in Bridgeport. And she won.
Next, Holderied competed in the sectional competition in Fairfield. And she won.
Then it was off to Citi Field in New York, home of her beloved Mets, to compete in the regional competition.
That got her a ticket to Cincinnati and the Great American Ballpark for the national finals, which happened to take place during the All-Star game ceremonies.
She won that too.
“I didn’t realize that you could go this far or that I would make it this far. I was pretty nervous,” Holderied said, who captured the National Finals in the Girls 11-12 Division. “I was very surprised. I didn’t think I’d won.”
But when she did win, Holderied’s cell phone started buzzing and hasn’t stopped.
“I’ve gotten a lot of support from my friends and family,” she said. “I’ve probably gotten a couple of hundred of text messages.”
The competition consisted of hitting three balls off a tee (for combined distance), throwing six pitches at a target and then being timed running from second base to home plate. Holderied, who not only plays in the Fairfield Little League, she also plays with the Fairfield Fury softball travel team, shined in all three categories. beating the other two finalists, Lauren Mirtoni of Roseville, Calif., and Daci Hier of Kewanee, Ill.
“I think probably the throwing was my best event,” said Holderied.
Holderied, who will be an eighth grader at Fairfield Woods Middle Schools and plans to play softball when she enters high school at Roger Ludlowe, got to meet several all-stars during the Home Run derby, when the competitors got to work the outfield and catch the fly balls that didn’t leave the park.
“That was really cool to go onto the field. That was a lot of fun. I met a lot of really good people. I got some autographs but I can’t remember who,” she said.
She did catch some non-home runs, including one from the eventual champion.
“I have a ball from (Cincinnati’s) Todd Frazer,” Holderied said. “I was actually on the field when he won and it was very loud.”
And with one Pitch, Hit and Run trophy on the mantle, why not try for a second?
“I’m planning on competing again next year,” she said. “I can actually compete for two more years because next year, I’ll be in the 13-14 year old division.”