Waves of spring rain showers chased the 10th annual Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic Youth Experience indoors Saturday morning, but participants like Madi Potts, 13, did not care.
The noise of player walk-up intro music, children’s laughter and the crowd cheering was enough to distract from the thunder outside the Allison Indoor Football Facility. There, 225 Little League Challenger Division players from 17 teams took to the field alongside Baylor University baseball players for two-inning games. Their play was followed by medal presentations by members of Karem Shriners of Waco.
Like Madi, each athlete had the opportunity to hit, run the bases and play outfield while their name and photo appeared on a portable marquee.
“Our goal is to let these kids live a day in the life of a Baylor athlete, and this provided them with that experience,” said Dustin Johnson, tournament director from Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Madi took a deep, calming breath on her second trip at bat, hitting off the third toss by Baylor freshman pitcher Anderson Needham. Her teammates’ following hits took her around the bases, and a nice grounder by Landon Harvey brought her back to home plate.