The baseball world was abuzz this summer about a new phenom, 13-year-old female Mo’Ne Davis, who pitched a shutout in August during the first round of the Little League World Series.
Working together, the Taney Dragons from Philadelphia didn’t make a single defensive mistake against strong opponents from Tennessee. Still, Davis’ two-hit, complete-game shutout was real pitching, not just fireball throwing.
Davis “ran a clinic,” as they say, on baffling hitters. The speed of her four-seam fastball reached 70 mph but she mixed it with a split-change and occasional curve, changing eye-level and speeds to keep Nashville off-balance. She had pitched an earlier shutout to propel her team into the series.
In an interview with ESPN, Davis acknowledged that she had studied the home plate umpire’s high strike zone and worked toward it, and that she was aware of her pitch count (57) going into the bottom of the sixth. She knew her limit of 65 was approaching if she was to be used again on three days’ rest, per Little League rules.
“So,” she said, “I knew I had to squeeze those eight pitches in and I was able to do it.”
Asked if all the attention had been hard on her, the honor student replied, “It hasn’t been too bad. And anyway, I can always say, ‘No.’ That’s my secret weapon with the media.”
— Adapted from “Mo’Ne Davis’ 2-hit shutout and Taney’s 4-0 win over big-hitting Tennessee club a joy to watch,” David Jones, PennLive.