JORDAN, Minn. (KMSP) - Major League Baseball is stepping up to the plate to make the sport more accessible, holding its first all-girls tournament in Compton over the weekend. A 12-year-old from Jordan, Minn. will be representing the state.
Ally St. Michaels grew up playing catch with her older brother, and now she's getting the chance to level the playing field in the world of youth baseball.
"I'm excited. Nervous. I'm a little scared meeting other people and having people watching you," St. Michaels said.
As a catcher on the Shakopee U12 AA Red team, Ally is used to being the only girl on the baseball diamond, but she'll be one of 100 young female baseball players from across the country playing in the first ever Trailblazer Series, an all-girl tournament sponsored by Major League Baseball to include more women and girls in the sport.
"If guys want to play softball, they can play softball. But if girls want to play baseball, they say 'no' or 'you are just a girl. you can't do this as well as them.' They should be equal," St. Michaels said.
The TV show "Pitch," which was developed by MLB, shows what it's like for a fictional female pitcher in the major leagues.
But Ally's mom says there seems to be growing acceptance for breaking down the gender barrier on all levels of America's pastime in real life.
"You earn your spot on the team. She doesn't just walk on and get a spot because she's a girl. She earns that spot on that team. And a boy earns his spot on the team and that's what I want to see," Melissa St. Michaels said.
And what better way to blaze a trail than to swing for the fences whenever you get the chance.
"If I did hit a home run, I'd be happy," Ally St. Michaels said.
In all, 100 girls from 20 states will take part in the Trailblazers tournament.