Maple Valley girl will compete at MLB All-Star Week for Pitch, Hit & Run title

A 12-year old girl from Maple Valley is one of 24 youths from across the country who will compete for the national championship of the Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run baseball and softball skills competition.

Kaiea Higa will represent the Seattle Mariners on Monday, July 11, prior to the MLB All-Star Home Run Derby at Petco Park in San Diego.

Higa qualified for the National Finals by being one of the top three participants in softball skills in her age group, 11/12 years old. Higa won here age group at the Team Championships at Safeco Field on June 12. When her scores were compared to all other softball competitors in the 11/12 year old division, Higa was one of the three top finishers.

Pitch, Hit & Run, presented by Scotts, is the official youth skills competition of Major League Baseball. The 24 boys and girls, ranging in age from 7-14, will compete at the National Finals and participate in activities during MLB All-Star Week.

The competition will take place on the field at Petco Park in San Diego on Monday, July 11 at 3:00 p.m. PT, prior to Gatorade All-Star Workout Day featuring the 2016 Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders.

Beginning in March, approximately 625,000 youth participated in over 4,400 competitions that took place across North America. Scotts, the "Official Lawn Care Company of Major League Baseball," is in its fourth year sponsoring the grassroots program. Aquafina, the "Official Bottled Water of Major League Baseball," is also a supporting sponsor of the program.

Pitch, Hit & Run (PHR) invites youth to demonstrate their skills through pitching, hitting and running competitions. PHR participants advance through four levels of competition, beginning at the local level, which is hosted by organizations, leagues, or volunteers within a community, and continuing through sectional and team competitions. All 30 MLB Clubs hosted team championships at their ballparks on weekends from May through June. The top three competitors nationwide from each age group (7/8, 9/10, 11/12 and 13/14) advanced to the 2016 Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run program presented by Scotts National Finals.

Pitch, Hit & Run is a component of the "PLAY BALL" initiative between Major League Baseball and USA Baseball, which encourages widespread participation in all forms of baseball and softball activities among all age groups, especially youth. The program, introduced last year, highlights the many ways baseball can be played, including outside of traditionally organized baseball leagues and tournaments, ranging from playing catch, stickball and Wiffle® ball to participating in skills competitions like Pitch, Hit & Run. The initiative also provides players, parents and coaches with information and resources to help find events and leagues as well as proper play and instruction through PlayBall.org.