The Taney Dragons have arrived at the Little League World Series to represent Philly — their first game is 3 p.m. Friday — and it won’t surprise you to discover that Mo’Ne Davis, their superstar pitcher and the only girl on the team, has become a bit of a celebrity.
Mo’Ne Davis throws like a girl — which is to say, she throws better than most of her peers, nearly all of whom are men.
Davis, a 13-year-old Little League pitcher, threw a complete shutout Sunday to advance her team, the Taney Dragons of Philadelphia, to the Little League World Series. To get there, Davis allowed just three hits in six innings, hurling 70 mph fastballs and curveballs you have to see to believe:
Davis, who struck out six, will become only the 18th girl to play in 68 years in the Little League World Series, which starts Thursday in Williamsport, joining Emma March of the Canada Region Champions from South Vancouver Little League, British Columbia.
Not that she thinks it should be such an unusual occurrence.
“More girls should join boys’ teams so it could be a tradition and it wouldn’t be so special,” she told The Philadelphia Inquirer.
No team from Philadelphia has ever advanced to the Little League World Series, so Davis is part of history. She’s the first American girl to play in Williamsport since 2004. But that was before Facebook and Twitter and social media were a thing.
Expect Davis to be the biggest story in sports this week.
Only 16 girls have ever played in the Little League World Series. Thirteen-year-old Mo’Ne Davis, who plays for the Taney Dragons of Philly, isn’t just aiming to join that club—she’s gunning to be the most memorable female player the tournament has ever seen.
Davis handles herself like a pro twice her age, barely cracking a smile as she whiffed kid after kid and kept the base paths clear. (Though I imagine, when her teammates mobbed her at the end of the game, that she was grinning at the bottom of that dog pile.)
“If I’m pitching I just go out and throw strikes and they think I throw soft but then they see my fastball and they get kind of scared and I just strike them out,” Davis told ESPN-W.
And strike them out she did.
Davis struck out six in Sunday’s game. In her previous victory she struck out ten. Not bad for a kid who considers baseball her second-favorite sport.
“I wasn’t really into baseball, I was mostly into basketball and I wasn’t falling in love with (baseball) but then I started falling in love with it more but I still had high hopes that I would be a WNBA player,” Davis told ESPN-W.