The next great softball and baseball stars are playing on diamonds across the country right now.
That’s right. Our future Olympians and NCAA greats are launching home runs like this 6-year-old with a swing reminiscent of Ken Griffey Jr., or striking out hitters like this female pitcher hoping to play college baseball one day. Spotting the next Jennie Finch isn’t easy, though.
Down in Huntsville, Alabama, a 5-year-old tee ball player named Finleigh is tearing up the base paths and turning heads as a speedy slap hitter.
5-Year-Old Speedy Softball Star
Meet Finleigh Bates. She’s only 5, but she has the speed of a world-class sprinter.
In one of her tee ball games, Finleigh slapped a ground ball and motored around the bases for an inside-the-park home run. You could tell she was about to run like Rickey Henderson once she threw the bat with some serious force.
By the time the opposing pitcher picks up the ball and walks it back to the circle, Finleigh is almost at third base. She didn’t slow down. Ever. Stopwatches will probably tell you she was as quick as LSU outfielder Aliyah Andrews.
She made everyone on the field look like complete statues.
It’s only a matter of time before Finleigh is a worldwide phenomenon with speed like that.
She gets her softball skills from her mom, Samantha Bates. She played on the USA Junior Olympic softball team in Italy in 2006 and collegiately at the University of West Alabama.
Despite being born with cerebral palsy, Finleigh has shown that she’s the best player on the field when she puts on the cleats.
“This girl is so special, and if you know her, you would whole heartedly agree. She is a super fun kid, a great friend, a talented athlete, a smiling machine, and just the best kid all around,” her mom wrote in an Instagram post.
She also has an adorable twin sister named Oakleigh who kicks butt on the softball field as well:
Get ready, folks. The Bates sisters are coming to softball field near you some day.