It has been five years since Mo'ne Davis dazzled the nation from atop a Little League World Series pitcher's mound and another player joins Davis this year on the elite list of girls to appear in the tournament.
Minnesota's Maddy Freking becomes only the 19th girl to play in the 72-year history of the Little League World Series. The first was Victoria Roche who played for Brussels, Belgium, in 1984.
12-year-old Freking plays for Coon Rapids-Andover, who will represent the Midwest in the LLWS. Her team beat squads from Iowa, North Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and Minnesota to advance to South Williamsport.
As Freking and her team take on the big stage at the Little League World Series, here's five quick things to know about her:
1. What Position Does She Play?
Freking plays second base for Minnesota. Her coach, Greg Bloom, told the Associated Press that she's the "best second baseman he's seen."
2. She's Known for Her Defensive Prowess:
Freking has already caught a ton of attention for her defensive skills. In the fourth inning of the Midwest Regional Championship, Minnesota was down 5–1 to Iowa when she turned a heads-up double play in a bases-loaded, no-out situation. Minnesota held Iowa scoreless in that inning and rallied to score seven runs in the fifth and sixth to reach the LLWS.
ESPN later featured Freking's stunning play on SportsCenter.
— Little League (@LittleLeague) August 10, 2019
3. Freking is a Multi-Sport Athlete:
She also plays volleyball and basketball, but she told the AP that baseball is her favorite sport because of the traveling it involves. Her friends have asked her to consider switching to softball but she's not interested.
4. She Idolizes Jackie Robinson Like the Rest of Us:
Freking told the AP that she idolizes Jackie Robinson for breaking Major League Baseball's color barrier. However, she's not a Dodgers fan. She roots for the Twins, and slugger Miguel Sano is her favorite player.
5. Mo'ne Davis is One of Her Role Models:
Freking considers Davis to be one of her role models. The Hampton University-bound softball player grabbed everyone's attention in August 2014 while pitching for the Taney Dragons in the LLWS. She became the first girl to pitch a shutout and earn a win in the tournament. Davis appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated and on plenty of national talk shows after dominating in the LLWS.