Beavercreek 8-year-old going to World Series to compete in Pitch, Hit & Run contest

Piper Wade advanced from qualifying events in Eaton and Cincinnati

Piper Wade, a third grader at Fairbrook Elementary School in Beavercreek, knew she was going somewhere when the World Series began. She hoped earlier this month it would be Cleveland. She and her family didn’t find out until this week their destination is Houston.

Wade, 8, will compete Sunday at Minute Maid Park, where the first two games of the World Series will take place Friday and Saturday, in the national finals of Major League Baseball’s Pitch, Hit & Run competition.

Sean Wade, Piper’s dad, will go to Game 2 between the Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros with his daughter. All the finalists received two tickets. That was just a distant dream when Piper participated in a qualifying round in Eaton in July.

“We were like, ‘This would be cool — let the 8-year-old take us to the World Series,’” Sean said. “We were completely joking.”

Piper advanced from the competition in Eaton to a regional event at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. She competed there against four other girls in the 7-8-year old age group. Kids accumulate points based on how they do in each event.

In the pitching phase, they throw five times and earn 50 points for hitting the target or 100 points for hitting the bull’s eye. In the hitting portion, they get five swings and earn points based on how far the ball travels through six different zones. Then the contestants’ speed is measured in two 90-foot runs. The top speed is taken.

Piper has played softball since she was 4, her dad said, most recently with Beavercreek Fastpitch, so her parents thought she would do well.

“We really hoped she would make Cincinnati,” Sean said, “We thought that was definitely attainable. And she did. After she qualified to Cincinnati, we learned the rules and knew what we actually had to do. We definitely practiced more than going and practicing and playing with our team. We spent a little more time on it. Thankfully, that day, she had five good hits, and she actually hit the bull’s eye once and hit the target two other times. She would have beaten the 10-12-year-old winner.”

After the Cincinnati event, Piper had to wait until the other regional events across the country finished in September to find out she had qualified for the national event, which would be held wherever the World Series began.

“She was super excited,” Sean said, “and just kind of in disbelief.”

Sean and Laura Wade and their daughters — Piper, Emma, 10, and Mila, 5 — will all fly to Houston on Friday. They’ll attend a Game 1 watch party with other finalists that night. Piper has been preparing for the Sunday competition all fall.

“We practice in the backyard,” Sean said. “We’ve got a pitching net and hitting net. Then we’ll try to go usually on the weekends if we can up to her elementary school.”

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