Teams from big cities rarely make it to the Little League World Series (LLWS) and just as rare is for a girl to be on the roster. Not only did both things happen this past weekend, but the Taney Dragons from downtown Philadelphia were led to their 8-0, LLWS-appearance clinching victory by that girl. All Mo’Ne Davis did was pitch a five-strikeout, three-hit, complete game. And if you saw the game, then you know that two of those hits weren’t hit all that well. One was a bloop single to center and the other was a high-bouncing soft ball up the middle that just got past Mo’Ne and into centerfield. In other words, she was overwhelming. Even at the plate she hit the ball hard every time she came up.
Her performance was dominant, as she overpowered batter after batter from the team from Newark, Delaware. Mo’Ne pitched against the same team earlier in the week and recorded ten strikeouts. There were rumors that Newark had figured her out by the end of that first game, so he changed up her style. For Sunday night’s meeting, she rarely broke out her 70-mph fastball, which leaves opposing batters dazed and confused. In this matchup, she kept batters off-balance with breaking balls that dipped into the strike zone as her long braids whipped back and forth with each pitch like a Willow Smith video. When she was younger, opposing teams assumed she was a boy with long hair, but now her hair is too long to make that mistake.
Since the age of seven, Mo’Ne has played baseball with South Philly’s Anderson Monarchs, named after singer Marian Anderson, who was from the neighborhood, but her first love is basketball. Last year she played basketball for the seventh grade team at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, a private school way on the other side of Philly, where she is an honor student. She hopes to play basketball for the storied UConn women’s basketball team so much that during the Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament, her mother drove her up to The Poconos to attend a basketball camp.
Mo’Ne doesn’t mind playing basketball with the girls, but she just doesn’t like softball that much, so that led her to baseball with the boys. She hopes to play for the WNBA one day, but for now she’ll just keep on whipping that hair on the baseball field.
Taney Youth Baseball Association now known as Pennsylvania for the World Series Tournament will next play on Friday, August 15th at 3pm on ESPN.