By Tim Jimenez and Matt Rivers
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – UPDATE 8/15/14: The Taney Dragons beat Tennessee, 4-0, on Friday. Taney will take the field again on Sunday at 7:00 p.m. on ESPN2. Mo’ne Davis pitched a complete shutout against Tennesse with nine strikeouts.
It didn’t long in this game before things went Taney’s way.
Jared Sprague-Lott hit a towering three run shot in the top of the first inning, setting Philly’s favorite little leaguers on a path to victory.
“As soon as it went out, I was very excited,” Sprague-Lott said.
And once she got that run support, well, Mo’ne Davis didn’t need much more. The incredible 12-year-old right hander tossed yet another gem. The team from Tennessee didn’t score, and managed only a handful of hits.
“I got to know the umpire’s strike zone, so that helped me out a lot and I saw them,” Davis said.
She was helped out by some phenomenal fielding, stout defense from a team that prides itself on playing error-free ball.
“With our defense and pitching like that, as long as we can sequence the pitching, to keep it in the yard, we’re in good shape,” Manager Alex Rice said.
Thousands were on hand to watch the game. Little League officials don’t keep official totals, but there seemed little doubt that Philly drew the largest crowd so far.
“I haven’t seen boys pitch like that so far, so it’s so, so amazing. I’m so excited for her,” mother Lakeisha McLean said. “I don’t think she ever had that many strikeouts, I’m not sure, but this game actually blew me away.”
It’s gameday for Philly’s Taney Dragons as they hit the field for the Little League World Series this afternoon.
A lot of the attention has been on pitcher Mo’ne Davis, the 13-year-old girl throwing strikes at 70 miles per hour, impressing fans and her own parents. Lakeisha Mclean says she can barely watch her daughter play:
“I’ll be more nervous than she is. Why? I don’t know. But she’s really calm. She’s really humble. She blocks everybody out.”
Her stepfather, Mark Williams, says he wasn’t much of a baseball fan before, but after seeing Mo’Ne on the mound, everything changed:
“Watching a young female pitch like this. I’m like ‘woah, wait a minute’.”
Mclean says she’ll hear some comments from folks in the stands about her daughter, but once she starts throwing, it’s a different ballgame:
“We hear them say, ‘Oh, they’ve got a girl.’ But once she gets on the mound and shows them what she can do, you don’t hear anymore of that. She strikes them all out.”
Mclean says all of her sacrifices, leaving work early to pick Mo’ne up or buying the best equipment, has been worth it.
“This is all Mo’ne wants to do. When she has spare time, she’s either at the basketball court or she’s on the baseball field.”
And now, with an even bigger spotlight on Mo’ne in the Little League World Series, her mother says a great role model will be on center stage:
“She’s the perfect person to look up to. Mo’ne’s very smart. She’s always made honor role, she’s very athletic, she’s the nicest, the sweetest, humblest person in the world.”
But she’s still intense, her mother says, hating to lose, and wanting to help Taney keep their run alive.
The Little League World Series is double-elimination, meaning you get two losses before you get sent home.
Taney will play Sunday at 7 p.m. Here is a link to the bracket.
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