By Andrew Porter
For the first time ever, an urban Philadelphia team will be represented in the Little League World Series (LLWS). The Taney Dragons of Center City Philadelphia, after becoming the first urban Philly team to win the Pennsylvania State Title, defeated Delaware’s National Team 8-0 on Sunday advancing to Williamsport to play in the LLWS.
The Dragons are led by their 13-year-old ace female pitcher, Mo’ne Davis. Yes, female pitcher. Davis recorded a three-hit shutout, striking out six batters, in the Mid-Atlantic Final. She will become only the 13th girl to ever play in the LLWS, over 68 years.
“It’s actually really exciting to meet new people, and actually there’s another girl here from Canada,” Davis told Michael Barkann and Ike Reese on the 94WIP Mike & Ike Show on Tuesday. “So it’s really exciting right now.”
Davis, an honor roll student, is entering eighth grade at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. She throws a fastball that reaches 70 miles per hour, her curveball is devastating, and she can swing the bat. Davis has become a viral story, receiving recognition on Twitter from athletes like Russell Wilson and Magic Johnson.
“That’s really cool,” Davis said of the Tweets. “Like, I got to see them [the tweets] last night and I actually never thought this would happen, but it’s really cool right now to have all those people giving me shout outs and my team. So hopefully we’ll make it far in this tournament.”
The Dragons turned a double play to end the Mid-Atlantic Final, advancing them to the LLWS, exactly as Davis drew it up in her head.
“We’ve always wanted to turn a double play to end a game and they wanted to make the SportsCenter Top Ten plays, so I kind of gave the hitter something to hit and he hit it right to our second baseman, and they just turned a smooth double play,” Davis said.
If you’re not impressed yet, neither baseball nor softball is in Davis’ future. She aspires to play basketball for the UCONN’s women team one day, and I wouldn’t bet against her.
The LLWS begins Thursday, August 14th. The Taney Dragons begin LLWS play on Friday, August 15th at 3pm ET against South Nashville.
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