Photos Courtesy Tirzah Renkes
Generally, 7 & 8 year olds are more interested in the post-game snack than how well they do during their summer ball games. They see it as a social event and a chance to run, swing a bat, and get dirty. However, 7 year old Laken Renkes of Prophetstown takes it a bit more seriously and has been blessed with some very impressive skills. In fact, her skills are so good they earned her a trip to Chicago last weekend to compete in the regional level of MLB’s Pitch, Hit, and Run Skills Competition at Guaranteed Rate Field, home of the White Sox.
She competed in the 7-8-year-old category and qualified after winning two preliminary rounds in Geneseo. Her score in the second round (sectional) was then compared to other regional scores in three states with the top three getting to compete in Chicago.
The competition consists of three hits off of a tee, which are measured for distance and accuracy, six pitches from 35 feet at a target, at a timed run from second base to home plate. A formula is used to calculate the participant’s points.
Laken competed in the morning before the White Sox ballgame. Her trip included tickets to the game, a T-shirt, and her favorite part, being able to sit in the White Sox dugout.
While she didn’t meet any players, she did get to go on the field prior to the game to receive her award. Her score will now be submitted and compared to 30 other competitions from around the country with the top three players in each age group winning a trip to the All-Star game in Cleveland.
Laken hopes to find out in the next few weeks is she will be making a trip to the All-Star game. Her mother, Tirzah, said,” She had a great day regardless of what is to come. She was on top of the world in that MLB dugout.”