Mo’ne Davis’ Team Loses, But New Yorkers Cheer History-Making Little Leaguer
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) –Dallan Cave and Brennan Holligan hit two-run homers, lefty reliever Austin Kryszczuk got out of two big jams, and Las Vegas beat Philadelphia and star pitcher Mo’ne Davis 8-1 in the Little League World Series on Wednesday night.
On Wednesday night, millions were watching the Little League World Series, and all eyes were on Mo’ne Davis.
As CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu reported, the 13-year-old girl has made history, becoming the first little league player to make the cover of Sports Illustrated.
“Last week, this week, maybe next week, she’s owned the sports conversation,” Sports Illustrated manager editor Chris Stone said. “How often do you get to say this about a 13-year-old girl? It’s the easiest type of story to identify as a cover story.”
And while her mom is proud of her, she’s concerned about all the attention.
“Philadelphia knew about Mo’ne, but the whole world knows about Mo’ne now,” said mother Lakeisha McLean. “I just want her to be a normal 13-year-old child.”
Davis, the darling of the sports world with her amazing success and poise, was both masterful and ordinary on a night made short because of pitch-count rules. She allowed three runs and six hits and struck out six in 2 1-3 innings before leaving after 55 pitches. That makes her eligible to pitch again in the U.S. championship game on Saturday.
Davis played first after her stint on the mound and was switched to right field in the top of the sixth.
The grassy hill beyond the outfield fences at Howard J. Lamade Stadium was jammed with so many cheering fans in lawn chairs that it looked like the bleacher section at any ballpark as 34,128 fans craned to see every pitch.
The 5-foot-4 Davis, who has given the Taney Youth Baseball Association Little League in Philadelphia notoriety no one could have imagined, tries to use the first two innings to get to know the home plate umpire’s strike zone, and the first time through the order gauges where the opposing players don’t like the ball.
It worked like a charm in her first outing in the World Series as she pitched a two-hit shutout. She didn’t get that chance on this night against hard-hitting Las Vegas, which had outscored its first two opponents 25-4.
Davis, her long braids flopping over her shoulders on every pitch, allowed hits to the first two batters as Philadelphia fell behind. Leadoff hitter Zach Hare lofted a soft single to center and Kryszczuk followed with a resounding triple to right center for a 1-0 lead.
Unfazed, Davis struck out the side, getting Holligan looking and Brad Stone and Andrew Matulich swinging.
She left in the top of the third in favor of lefty Erik Lipson, but she wasn’t through competing. After falling behind 0-2 in the count in her second at-bat, Davis worked a walk with runners at second and third and Zion Spearman scored when the fourth ball bounded away from the catcher.
Mo’ne has taken the world by storm, with her incredible fastball that’s been clocked at over 70 mph.
Ian Lum, 13, tried to hit that speed at Chelsea Piers — with no luck.
But he still loves Mo’ne.
“I am your biggest fan, Mo’ne Davis,” he said. “Please get me tickets.”
So is it tough dealing with all the attention?
“Not really,” Mo’ne said. “I can always say no. That’s like my special weapon for the media.”
While Mo’ne is making headlines in baseball, her true love is basketball. She says if she is ever on the cover of Sports Illustrated again, she hopes she will be wearing a University of Connecticut women’s basketball jersey.
But for now, the focus is on baseball. And her fans say watching her play sends a strong message.
“It means that girls can play baseball,” 11-year-old Liz Pace said. “Girls can play hockey. Girls can play any sport they want to.”
And for many fans, including 7-year-old Ezra Sadowsky, the whole girl thing doesn’t even matter.
“Girls are perfectly normal, and they can also do whatever they want,” he said. “Boys are not better than girls at sports.”
Davis, just the 18th girl to play in the Little League World Series, began her eye-opening appearance in the showcase event by throwing a two-hit shutout in a 4-0 victory over Nashville, becoming the first female to win a game in series history. Davis had eight strikeouts and didn’t walk a batter and needed only 70 pitches to complete the game.
Davis also threw a three-hit shutout to lead Taney to an 8-0 victory over Delaware in the Mid-Atlantic Regional championship game, so she has a flair for the dramatic.
(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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