In PA we did a similar thing with acorns.I was born and raised in Alaska, where there’s a gravel pit and lake every 50 feet. My parents let me keep a simple wiggle ball bat in the car and anytime we’d at someone’s house or out and about and I got bored, I’d grab that bat and go hit rocks into a lake.
My obsessive nature kept me working on hitting the rock as far as I could. I didn’t even know it at the time, but I was learning how to place hit, adjust my swing to the ball (rock), build fast hands, make contact on the sweet spot of the barrel, etc.
When I started coaching I had the girls do this at a young age. Most didn’t keep up with it, you tell which ones have when they play. It works on many levels and is worth doing it. Now I have the girls hit their own infield practice. That alone has increased their contact rates across the roster.