Pitch, Hit and Run grows into family affair

Royals hold competition at Kauffman to determine region finalists

KANSAS CITY -- For the first time in five years, Jordan Carlson didn't participate in Major League Baseball's Pitch, Hit & Run event, presented by Scotts.

Instead, Jordan watched with her parents in the stands at Kauffman Stadium on Saturday while her two younger sisters give their best efforts at throwing the strike down, hitting off a tee and running the bases.

The younger Carlson girls -- Lauren, 13, and Mija, 11, -- were two of 24 qualifiers across Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and Nebraska to advance from their local and sectional competitions in their respective age groups.

"I'm really nervous for them, but I really wish I could do it, too," said Jordan, who aged out of the PHR competition when she turned 15.

While neither of the Carlson girls ended up in first place, Jordan eagerly hoped her sisters created the same memories during their competition that she found.

One of her brightest memories was when she advanced as a national finalist in 2012, the same year the Royals hosted the All-Star Game. As a result, she enjoyed the opportunity to compete close to home at Kauffman Stadium.

"It's so fun because you get to meet so many players and hang out with them," Jordan said.

She spent the past season playing on her high school softball team in Council Grove, Kan., where the family is from.

She and her sisters also compete in summer leagues, an ambition acquired from her parents. Justin and Lauri both competed in adult summer, winter and spring softball leagues until their daughters began to take up a majority of their time.

"We kind of give it up after we started chasing those three all over the states of Kansas and Missouri," Justin Carlson said, smiling.

He found another way to stay involved after Jordan's first year at PHR. After doing some research, he began to host a local competition for the event and recently began to host the sectionals after a few years of dedication.

As dedicated Royals fans, too, the Carlson parents wore Royals blue to the pregame event as a way to show support for their team before the game against the Rangers that afternoon.

"We'll stay for the game," Justin said. "Then as soon as the game's over with, two of them have softball tournaments we want to attend."

Winners in the girls division included Madison Lemons (7-8-year-olds), Macy Richardson (9-10), Elizabeth Martin (11-12) and Lauren Krasa (13-14).

Boys winners were Ryver Peppers (7-8), Jackson Young (9-10), Chase Jans (11-12) and Kaul Kleeman (13-14).

Jordan Wilson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.