Mo'Ne Davis is taking the 2014 Little League World Series, and the nation, by storm.
The infectious 13-year-old is the star pitcher on her Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, team in the LLWS. She fired a complete-game shutout that helped her squad clinch the final spot in the field of 16 in Williamsport. Her brilliant performance included six strikeouts, three walks and just three hits in that contest.
That's the game that put her on the map.
Davis isn't the first female in the LLWS. In fact, she's the 18th, as per WTSP. But to say that any other before her has made the impact that she has would be incorrect. Davis is paving the way for young girls all across the country.
The youngster has received plenty of the attention thus far not only because she is a girl playing a traditionally male sport, but also because she has more than earned the recognition with her performances. Few have been able to match her showings during this tournament—male or female.
Her most recent outing was a two-hit shutout against the representatives from Tennessee:
While hitless in three at-bats, Davis made her presence felt on the mound. Her repertoire (a polished one for a 13-year-old) has set plenty of hitters down on the road to the LLWS.
Her fastball repeatedly hits 70 miles per hour. Not many young teenagers are gifted enough to achieve that speed on the bump, but Davis is one of the few. Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro has taken notice:
Amaro on Mo'Ne Davis: "Amazing ... throwing 70 MPH at that age? I don’t think I could pick up a baseball and throw 70 MPH right now."— Ryan Lawrence (@ryanlawrence21) August 17, 2014
Normally, a blistering fastball would be enough against little leaguers, but Davis also tosses quite the hook. The knee-buckler has been a reliable pitch that she compares to the breaking ball of one of the best pitchers in the game:
"I throw my curveball like Clayton Kershaw and my fastball like Mo'Ne Davis." -Mo'Ne Davis (via @SportsCenter)— Ace of MLB Stats (@AceballStats) August 15, 2014
The final portion of that quotation is what has helped propel Davis to stardom. She's a modest competitor, but a confident one. She believes in her abilities on the hill against any competition thrown her way.
She also acknowledges that she is already a role model, and she embraces it. She told ESPN, per the Associated Press via FoxSports.com, about this title: "It's very unreal. I never thought at the age of 13 I would be a role model. Hopefully more girls play Little League."
Davis has certainly caught the attention of people across the nation, including some of the best players in Major League Baseball. Mike Trout and Andrew McCutchen are among those who have taken notice and are big supporters of the 5'3" standout:
But let's not forget something here. The buzz around Davis has to do with her ability. She has thrown two consecutive shutouts against some of the best 12- and 13-year-olds in the country under a major spotlight. That's a huge feat for any young player, let alone in the LLWS.
Davis has earned all the praise she has been given thus far in Williamsport. Hopefully her story will continue to grow, and we'll get to see more great pitching from this young star from Philly.
Follow Kenny DeJohn on Twitter: @KennyDeJohn_BR