Several stories will captivate audiences throughout the 2014 Little League World Series, but Mo'ne Davis' story is special. Not only is she a female baseball player, but Davis single-handedly led her team to claiming the Mid-Atlantic Region.
The 13-year-old pitcher hurls the ball at an astounding 70 mph for Philadelphia’s Taney Youth Baseball Association. How exactly has she already put a stamp on the LLWS before the competition ever begins?
Her three-hit, complete game shutout was a good start, as Brian Leighton of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes:
Philadelphia has a champion! With a shutout by Mo'ne Davis, Taney is going to the Little League World Series.— Brian Leighton (@phillyleighton) August 10, 2014
That type of performance would captivate any audience, but Davis is special. With her team making the field in South Williamsport, she becomes just the 17th female to make the final rounds of the tournament.
Davis also prominently states who she is walking up to the plate. Rather than hiding from the fact that she's a female playing a dominantly male sport, Davis walks up to Beyonce's "Run the World (Girls)" according to Susie Arth of ESPNW.com.
She's the first American player to make the tournament since 2004, but Davis isn't the only girl in Pennsylvania this week. Emma March, a Canadian player, is also heading to the LLWS, as ESPN Stats & Info notes:
Emma March & Mo'ne Davis are 17th & 18th girls to play in LLWS; only 3rd time 2 girls in same year pic.twitter.com/YUQjD2gC59— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 11, 2014
March is a great story in her own right, but no one dominated quite like Davis. The three-hit shutout was just the tipping point for Davis as she also brings plenty of athleticism to her team.
Baseball is not the only predominantly male sport Davis plays, though. Before taking the diamond with her Philly teammates, Taney coach Steve Bandura discovered her playing football, according to Sarah Baicker of CSNPhilly.com.
She also impressed athletes from other sports, including both Russell Wilson and Magic Johnson:
Who said girls can't play baseball? Yesterday, Mo'Ne Davis threw a complete game shut out to lead her team to the #LLWS!— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) August 11, 2014
While the novelty of a female player might wear off, Davis' talent on the field won't.
Along with her fastball touching 70, Davis also features a plethora of off-speed pitches that she put on full display against Delaware. The video below takes a look at several of the overpowering pitches Davis threw ahead of the Little League World Series.
How far will Taney make it at the LLWS?
As for any added pressure from being on the big stage, she apparently doesn't feel it. Davis told Jenice Armstrong of the Philadelphia Daily News, "I'm not nervous in any way. I just want to go out and have fun."
With the LLWS kicking off on Thursday, fans interested in seeing Davis will have to wait until Friday. Taney and Davis will be representing the Mid-Atlantic Region against the Southeast Region at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Though it's not guaranteed that she will be on the mound, Davis' talent will be on full display in front of a national audience. After a huge victory over Delaware, look for Davis and her Philly team to make a late run in the Little League World Series.
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