Philly's Mo'ne Davis: 8 K's in CG
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Pitcher Mo'ne Davis, one of two girls at the Little League World Series, threw a two-hitter to help Philadelphia beat Nashville 4-0 on Friday in the opener for both teams.
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Fans have traveled thousands of miles to see Mo'ne Davis pitch in the LLWS and she's attracted admiration from some of her own heroes like Kevin Durant. But for the humble 13-year-old ace, all this very real excitement surrounding her seems "very unreal." Story
The first girl to appear for a U.S. team in South Williamsport since 2004, Davis received rousing cheers during pregame introductions, every time she stepped to the plate, and after she struck out the final batter.
The applause heightened significantly when Davis struck out the final batter.
She became the first female pitcher to win a game in LLWS history, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Davis had eight strikeouts and didn't walk a batter. She retired the first six batters and needed only 70 pitches to complete the game. She was hitless in three at-bats.
Davis said she noticed plenty of girls younger than her in the audience.
"It's very unreal. I never thought at the age of 13 I would be a role model," she said. "Hopefully more girls play Little League."
More than six decades after Kathryn "Tubby" Johnston Massar cut off her braids, tucked her hair under her cap and became the first girl to play Little League baseball, she's delighted to see two girls in the Little League World Series. Canada's Emma March and Davis became the 17th and 18th girls to play in the tournament Friday.
"It's truly amazing. I'm very happy to see girls playing," said Massar, 78, of Yuba City, California.
Watching Mo'Ne Davis! She is an absolute stud. Awesome mechanics and great feel for pitching! #LLWS- Marcus Stroman (@MStrooo7) August 15, 2014
Philadelphia shortstop Jared Sprague-Lott hit a three-run home run in the first inning, and outfielder Carter Davis had an RBI sacrifice fly in the sixth.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett was in South Williamsport on Friday and watched Davis' dominating performance.
"There's a lot of pressure on her, and she seems to be handling it very, very well for her age," Corbett said before Davis' game, adding that the 13-year-old has a nice delivery. "It goes to show you how sports have moved the last 30 or 40 years, and we wouldn't have thought of this 40 or 50 years ago. And today, she's out there pitching, doing a great job and I'm sitting there thinking, 'Is she going to go into professional baseball?' I don't know.
"She's played as well as any kid out there right now."
NBA star Kevin Durant also took to Twitter to praise Davis.
This youngster is striking everybody out and she is a girl. I love it. #itsanewday- Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) August 15, 2014
Texas 6, Rhode Island 4
Matthew Adams stuck out seven in 4 2-3 innings to help Pearland, Texas, beat Cumberland, Rhode Island, 6-4.
Landon Donley earned a save in the opener for both teams, allowing a run on a fielder's choice before getting Addison Kopack to fly out to deep right-center.
Michael Groover had a two-run single for Pearland in the top of the sixth.
Pearland catcher Joshua Gabino left in the bottom of the first with an injured left hand.
Mexico 4, Canada 3
Batting cleanup ahead of her brother -- Evan -- and playing first base, Emma March went hitless Friday in Canada's 4-3 loss to Mexico.
But March created some excitement when she stepped into the batter's box for the Vancouver, British Columbia team.
She drove a long fly ball to right field in the fourth inning that the crowd thought might be a home run. However, the hit sailed foul into the stands. Then in the top of the fifth, March stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and Canada down by two runs. After working the count to 2-2, she struck out looking on a pitch that caught the outside corner.
As March trotted back to the dugout, the crowd let the umpire know its opinion of the call as boos reigned down from the stands.
Juan Garza's play from the mound and the plate helped Mexico.
After Canada tied the game 1-1 in the top of the third inning, Mexico's Luis Rodriguez hit a two-run homer to right field. The third baseman went 3-for-3 on the day, adding a single and a double.
Garza added a double in the fourth inning, bringing in Miguel De La Guente for a three-run advantage. He held the Canadians in check with nine strikeouts, allowing two hits in four innings.
Canada added two runs in the fifth.
Next up for Mexico will be Japan.
Japan 1, Venezuela 0
Takuma Takahashi threw a one-hitter and struck out 14 in Japan's 1-0 victory over Venezuela.
Takahashi threw 73 pitched in six innings in the opener for the Tokyo team.
Japan scored in the top of the third inning on Suguru Kanamori's single after Taro Hashiguchi reached third on second baseman Greybell Salom's throwing error.
Jorge Cabrera pitched a complete game for the Venezuelan team from Maracaibo.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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