Shy’Asia Ratliff is a first baseman and clean-up hitter on Clarkton School of Discovery’s softball team, but softball is not her favorite sport.
Shy started playing baseball at age 5 and according to Ray Johnson who has worked with her since she was 8-years-old, she is even better at playing baseball with the boys.
Thursday Shy will travel to Compton, CA this weekend to participate in the Trailblazer Series for girl baseball players that was created by Major League Baseball with assistance from USA Baseball who manages all amateur baseball in the country.
Ninety-six 11-13-year-old female baseball players from the USA, Canada and Puerto Rico were chosen for the event that will be held at the Compton Youth Academy.
This is the third annual Trailblazer Series that was built around Jackie Robinson Day. Robinson broke the color barrier for major league baseball players on April 15, 1947.
The players will arrive at the academy on Thursday to receive instruction and hear speakers that include USA Olympic softball star Jenny Finch and former players from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League that was featured in the movie ‘A League of Their Own’.
On Friday the players will receive instruction from current women’s baseball players and coaches then attend a Los Angeles Dodgers game where they will be recognized on the field.
Saturday the girls will be divided into teams to compete against each other in a tournament. Sunday there will be another work-out and clinic period before they depart for home.
Shy walloped 4 home runs last year playing against boys in both Dixie Youth Baseball and playing for Coach Johnson on her Carolina Elite travel team. She had hit two home runs as an 11-year-old the previous year.
Ratliff slugged a home run in the DYB Small Leagues State Tournament that Johnson believes may be the first time that a girl has homered in a DYB state tournament. She also homered against a travel team that was ranked fifth in the state in her age group.
Shy, a hard-thrower, was also a dominant pitcher in the Bladen County Dixie Youth League where she pitched four no-hitters.
Ratliff is an eighth-grader at Clarkton School of Discovery.