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The Star City Optimist Youth Foundation will host four local qualifiers in the Major League Baseball Pitch Hit & Run competition on Thursday, April 11 through Wednesda, April 17.

Boys and girls ages 7-14 will compete in four separate age/sport brackets (7/8, 9/10, 11/12 and 13/14) based on their July 17, 2019 age. Each contestant may compete in either the baseball or softball division, but not both.

The three categories are:

1) Pitching (throwing, either overhand or underhand, 6 pitches at a “Strike Zone” target from 45 feet (baseball) or 35 feet (softball);

2) Hitting (3 balls from a tee for distance and accuracy); and

3) Running (timed run from second base to home plate using 60-foot base paths).

An 11-inch softball will be used for ages 7-10, and a 12-inch softball for those ages 11-14. All ages will use a regulation baseball.

The top four scorers in each category, including the all-around, will earn certificates at the local level and advance to Sectional Competition at Lincoln’s Optimist Youth Sports Complex on Saturday, May 5. Top all-around Sectional performers are then eligible to advance to the Kansas City Royals Team Championship in June. Winners there may qualify to receive an all-expense-paid trip to the National Finals during the early-July MLB All-Star week activities in Cleveland, Ohio.

Optimist sponsored dates and locations are:

Thursday, April 11, 6-7:30 p.m. at Highlands Park/Fredstrom Elementary School, 5700 NW 10th St.

Monday, April 15, 6-7:30 p.m. at Maxey Elementary School, 5200 S. 75th St.

Tuesday, April 16, 6-7:30 p.m. at Kahoa Elementary School, 7700 Leighton Ave.

Wednesday, April 17, 6-7:30 p.m. at Cripple Creek Park/Humann Elementary School, 6401 Beaver Creek Lane.

Contestants should bring a copy of their birth certificate for registration and may compete in only one MLB local contest. No metal spikes are allowed, though participants may use their own bats (aluminum bats will be provided). Questions? Contact Optimist Coordinator Bob Grundman, 402-489-9171.

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L Magazine editor

Mark Schwaninger is L magazine and Neighborhood Extra editor.

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