August 16, 2014 in Sports

For only third time, two girls are playing in the same LL World Series

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Associated Press photo

Philadelphia’s Mo’ne Davis threw a two-hit shutout in a 4-0 victory over Nashville on Friday. She struck out eight and didn’t have a walk.
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SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – 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 in this year’s Little League World Series.

“It’s truly amazing. I’m very happy to see girls playing,” said Massar, 78, of Yuba City, California.

Canada’s Emma March and Philadelphia’s Mo’ne Davis Friday became the 17th and 18th girls to play in the tournament. It is only the third time in the series’ 68-year history that two girls are playing in the same series.

Davis continued to impress. She threw a two-hitter to help Philadelphia beat Nashville 4-0. Davis had eight strikeouts and didn’t walk a batter.

March did not fare as well.

Batting cleanup ahead of her brother Evan and playing first base, she went hitless Friday in Canada’s 4-3 loss to Mexico.

But March created some excitement when she stepped into the batter’s box.

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.

Massar, slated to throw out the first pitch at one of Monday’s games, believes more girls will start to play in Little League and beyond. She thinks eventually there will be a woman in Major League Baseball.

Massar played in 1950, leading to a rule barring girls from playing. That rule was overturned in 1974. The self-described “trailblazer” said she celebrates her role in history.

“It’s something I’m proud of,” she said. “Why not play baseball with the boys?”

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,” Corbertt 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.”

In the day’s final game, Matthew Adams stuck out seven 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.

Also, 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.


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