The legend of Mo'ne Davis, the 13-year-old girl with the 70-mph fastball, continued to grow Friday, as she became the first girl to throw a shutout in Little League World Series history.
She might have grabbed the title of coolest kid in the world in the process, striking out eight and allowing just two hits while getting praised by the likes of Mike Trout and Lil Wayne.
Davis' story had already gotten a lot of play before she threw her first LLWS pitch. She tossed a shutout at Sunday's regional championships to send her team, the Taney Dragons from Philadelphia, to Williamsport. That's a very Clayton Kershaw-like week for Davis: two shutouts, 14 strikeouts and only five hits allowed total in two games.
Davis is only the fourth American girl to play in the Little League World Series and the first since 2004. Now — with her historic performance Friday — she's the gold standard.
With her family cheering her on from the stands, Davis mowed through the lineup of the South Nashville team, setting them down quickly most innings as Philly won 4-0. She was stone-faced on the mound while pitching, calm and collected as she blew fastballs past the boys batting against her. But she screamed and ran off the field after striking out the final batter in the sixth inning to complete the shutout. She struck out the side in the sixth, seeming to get better as the game went on.
The most fascinating matchup of the game was Davis vs. her pitch count. Her coach wanted to take her out at 65 pitches, which would allow her to pitch again on three days' rest. She entered the sixth inning with 57 pitches and the shutout definitely on her mind.
"I knew I only had eight pitches left," Davis said after the game. "So I had to squeeze those eight pitches in."
She struck out the first two batters and was at 64 pitches. Since Little League World Series rules allow her to finish an at-bat she's started, she only needed to get to the final batter with fewer than 65 pitches. But if she didn't get the third out, she was going to get pulled from the game. Davis got the third strikeout, and the people in the stadium and the people watching at home went nuts.
She was immediately a trending topic on Twitter, getting praise from the likes of Kevin Durant, Mike Trout and Lil Wayne — that's one MVP, one should-be MVP and one guy who claims he's the best rapper alive. Not bad, Mo'ne.
If you're pondering Davis' future baseball prospects, don't tie her down to one sport just yet. She says she wants to play college basketball at the University of Connecticut then play in the WNBA.
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