London Studer was ready for a big test earlier this summer.
On June 2 in Cincinnati, the Blacklick resident who competes for the Gahanna Lions travel baseball program did well enough at a tryout to be selected for the USSSA All-American Showcase in the 10U age group.
That Studer happens to be a girl doesn't stand out as much as the nearly 60 mph fastball she slings with her left arm or that she is the tallest member of her local team at more than 5 feet.
Now 11 years old, she will compete in the USSSA event that begins Tuesday, Aug. 8, and runs through Aug. 12 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Florida.
"I grew up playing baseball and I've just kind of stuck with it," Studer said.
Studer will be one of 14 players from the Great Lakes Region who will compete for the "American League" team at the USSSA showcase. Also competing in the 10U event from central Ohio will be Carter McGarvey, a Pickerington resident who will be one of 14 competitors for the "National League" team.
The Studer family is planning to make a road trip for the event, which will hold its opening ceremonies Monday, Aug. 7. The championship for 10U will be held Aug. 11.
Studer, who previously played for the Columbus Trappers 9U team, plays first base when she's not pitching.
"As far as we know, she might be the only girl who even tried out (for the USSSA showcase)," said Scott Studer, London's father. "You have no idea (how great it is), especially with it being my daughter and not my son. I played baseball and we're an athletic family. (London) started pitching her baseballs and she liked baseball. Girls progress differently than boys and she just never wanted to play softball. She throws about 60 miles per hour and at this point in time, she's fairly dominant."
It costs $175 to participate in one of three tryouts for the Great Lakes Region, which includes players from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and West Virginia in addition to Ohio.
The cost for participants who were selected for the showcase is an additional $200.
"I wouldn't say I was surprised she made it," said Chad Neer, who coaches in the Gahanna travel program. "I thought if anybody in the area could make it, she could. She's an all-around good kid and a lot of fun outside of baseball."
Scott Studer originally is from Minnesota but grew up playing baseball in Akron before coaching at the junior college level.
Getting experience at the USSSA event is something London's father believes "adds to her resume."
She's looking forward to everything about the experience, including going to Disney World.
"It was surprising (to make the showcase) because I was very nervous going in there and I made a couple mistakes," London said. "It was very nerve-racking. (I'm excited about) playing on one of the best baseball fields there could possibly be in Florida."