Wood River resident Abbigail Zangori won the MLB Pitch, Hit and Run competition June 4 at Busch Stadium. It marked the third straight year she’s won the competition and here she poses with all three of her plaques. On Friday, Zangori will find out if her efforts are good enough to qualify her to compete at the MLB All-Star game in San Diego on July 12.
Wood River resident Abbigail Zangori has certainly made her mark on Major League Baseball’s Pitch, Hit and Run competition in recent years.
The 14-year-old qualified for the softball competition at Busch Stadium for the last three years. To make the cut for Busch, one must pass muster at two levels.
Zangori won the pitch and run portion at a qualifying event in Carlinville on April 17. This performance propelled her to the Vandalia Sectional, where she won in all three events.
She competed at Busch Stadium on June 4. If she’s among the top three scorers, she’ll compete in the MLB All-Star game on July 12 at Petco Park in San Diego. The qualifying competitors will be announced Friday on the Major League Baseball Network.
Despite Zangori’s success in making it to Busch, advancing to the All-Star game has eluded her. She hopes the third time is the charm.
“I’m glad I’ve done well for the last three years,” Zangori said. “Getting a chance to go to the All-Star game would mean a lot. I’ve gotten better over the years.”
The pitching phase is an accuracy test, as one must hit a target. In the hitting portion, one must hit off of a tee and be measured for distance; in the running portion, a run to second base from home is timed for speed. Those are how the winners are determined.
Zangori played three years of recreational softball and she’s also played recreational soccer and basketball and volleyball for Roxana Junior High School, as she attends Roxana schools.
“I really like the competition,” she said. “And I love being active throughout the year.”
She credits the three years of recreational softball for teaching her hitting and hand-eye coordination.
“I like to line the bat up with the ball,” Zangori said. “You can get a better hit and it will go further.”
When it comes to the running portion of the contest, she said she’s increased her speed with each year.
When pitching, Zangori throws overhand.
“I feel like I have a better aim,” she said. “In throwing overhand, you have a better realization of where it will go.”
Zangori certainly has parental support. Her father, Sam, helps her train. Her mother, Elizabeth, said she’s excited by her daughter’s success.
“I’m very proud of her,” her mom said. “She’s always been a winner to me and it’s exciting to see her win for three straight years.”
When she attends high school next year, Zangori plans on competing in basketball and volleyball and is also considering soccer, softball and track.
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