One of the most captivating sports stories of the year officially has an ending, but it wasn't the one many were hoping for.
Mo'ne Davis and Taney Little League dropped a 6-5 thriller against Jackie Robinson West Little League on Thursday, thus ending the Pennsylvania squad's run in Williamsport.
For Davis, the tournament's most talked-about star, it ended in the exact opposite fashion of how the previous weeks of baseball played out for her: with a nondescript performance.
The 13-year-old phenom, who is known much more for her prowess on the mound, started at first base. She went 0-for-1 before being replaced with a pinch-hitter. Even in defeat, though, she showed pride for her team:
And as Jeff Pearlman pointed out, she continued to radiate that magnetic, care-free personality the country has fallen in love with in recent days:
Did anyone else just see Mo'Ne Davis' grin during handshake line? I would love my kids to have that charisma and joy. Just beautiful.— jeffpearlman (@jeffpearlman) August 22, 2014
No matter how you may feel about the attention Davis has received, there's no denying her unbelievable star power.
Although she struggled a bit against powerhouse Nevada on Wednesday, her complete-game shutout against Tennessee was the stuff you find in movie scripts: 6.0 innings, two hits, zero runs, zero walks, eight strikeouts.
Even legend Barry Larkin couldn't hide his praise:
Day 2 at LLWS. Mo'ne Davis. Wow— Barry Larkin (@BLarkin_ESPN) August 15, 2014
But her impact was arguably greater far beyond the field.
She appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated. She turned heads and sparked heated debates. She brought attention to the Little League World Series—already popular in its own right—that had never been seen before:
Fun Fact: More people attended last night’s Little League World Series game (34,128) than Marlins & Rays home games COMBINED (30,247).— Numbers Never Lie (@ESPN_Numbers) August 21, 2014
Last night's LLWS with Mo'ne Davis was the most-watched LLWS game in ESPN history. Peaked at 5.5M viewers. http://t.co/vKZX3Aruix— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) August 21, 2014
Best of all, with a few blazing fastballs and painted corners, she became someone to look up to.
And we can only thank her for that.
Mo'ne Davis' World Series is over. She will now steadily recede from the mainstream media and the nation's watchful eye, until perhaps several years down the road when she's playing basketball for Geno Auriemma and Connecticut.
But no matter what, we won't forget her. We won't forget how she transcended the sport, provided inspiration to millions and became a woman among boys.