TRINITY, N.C. (WGHP) — When you tell someone on the Carolina Five Star 12-year-old baseball team that they throw like a girl, that’s just about the best compliment any of them could receive.
“When I saw her when I tried out, she so impressed me,” said Five Star player Caleb Leimone. “I was like ‘wow, she’s really good.'”
Kerri Langfitt is used to being “one of the guys.” Being the only one in a ponytail has never stopped her from playing the sport she loves: baseball.
“I’ve never really had a big interest for softball,” she explained. “A lot of the baseball pitching is faster. The game just goes faster.”
They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and Kerri doesn’t need a rock when she can roll out strikes and runs on the baseball diamond every single game.
“She understands how to pick a person off, when to steal a base, where she’s supposed to be,” Head Coach Eric Lance mentioned. “She studies the game. She watches the game. She watches older people play the game. She is a student of the game.”
It was a small adjustment when Kerri decided to play with the boys.
“I was kind of confused at first because I’ve never seen a girl play baseball before,” teammate Anderson Snyder said. “Once we got to know her, she was actually very fun and nice, and she plays very good.”
It didn’t take long for her to just be another member of the team.
“We treat her like I would treat any other guy on this field,” Leimone explained. “It’s the same. Nobody thinks of it as gender. Most people, when they know Kerri, it’s like ‘oh, she’s good. We’ve got to watch out for her.'”
Kerri doesn’t waste time on what anyone else thinks.
“If they want to judge me, they can,” she mentioned. “But I don’t really care if they judge me.”
And after a few years playing amongst the boys of summer, she’s more than proven herself worthy of her position.
“If people don’t know about her, I have to back her up sometimes,” Leimone said. “Be like ‘hey, bet she could strike you out.'”
In fact, her biggest concern of being the only girl is off the field.
“They can get a little weird sometimes, like conga lines and junk like that in the dugout,” she laughed. “I’m just like ‘you guys are weird.'”
At 12 years old, Kerri’s options for the future are limitless.
“When I first met her…she was ten. She was talking about how she wanted to be a pro scout one day,” Coach Lance remembered.
But whether it’s in baseball, softball or a member of the staff, Kerri isn’t letting herself strike out on anything she may want to and can do.
“You never limit somebody,” Coach Lance explained. “You say ‘hey, go after your dream, as far as you want to go, and see how your dream morphs and what you do with it.'”