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Mo’ne Davis Playing well!



Mo’ne Davis continues to inspire on diamond

“Yo,” she said, “I didn’t get three of those last inning.” Davis is frustrated, because she just surrendered a 3-1 lead in her team’s opening game of the RBI World Series. The home-plate ump has seemingly squeezed her on a couple would-be strike threes, and the inning unraveled. Two runs, two hits and Davis’ own throwing error coming back to haunt the Phillies’ junior division club in what became a 4-3 loss. But it is a moment like this, a game like this, that exemplifies what’s so special about this utterly unflappable 16-year-old girl. Three years ago, at the Little League World Series, Mo’ne Davis was a sports sensation. One night she threw a shutout, and instantly her story was used for a female empowerment purpose. Mo’ne landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated, she met the president, she won awards, she threw out the first pitch at the World Series, she was the subject of a Spike Lee documentary and, yes, she released her memoir. Through it all, Mo’ne was the same composed kid sitting here in this dugout, expressing her exasperation in a muted tone before quickly shifting her focus to the inning ahead. “When they scored off me,” she said later, “I didn’t let it bother me. I didn’t want [the kids from the other team] talking like, ‘She’s nervous.’ I had to stay calm, because I know they’re going to try to get in my head and try to talk in the hotel the whole time.” Spend any time around Mo’ne, who has very much earned the mononym that can only come with celebrity, and you get the sense that nothing in this life is going to deter her. Her baseball career is nearing its conclusion as she turns her focus to earning a college basketball scholarship, and this RBI experience could well be her last national hurrah in this particular game. But Mo’ne still matters — both for the athletic gifts that will allow the pending high school junior to soon play Division I hoops, and for the maturity with which she puts those gifts to use. She has a platform very few of us could ever dream to reach, and she has used it not just to positively influence girls younger than her, but to demonstrate to her male teammates and her opponents the importance of genuine respect for the opposite sex. “We signed up probably 160 5- to 7-year-olds for baseball, and 20-25 of them were girls,” said her coach Steve Bandura, who has been running the inner-city Anderson Monarchs baseball program for 20 years. “We also have two girls on our 10-and-under travel team. —

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