WILLIAMSPORT, PA – She Bruning, from Texas, made history in the Little League World Series only by posing as the only girl in this year’s competition and the twentieth girl to have played in the Baseball World Series.
Still, Bruning didn’t get a participation trophy and scored the first run in the 6-0 win over Texas against Washington.
This is the first time a team from Abilene, Texas, has appeared in the Little League Baseball World Series, so the win was also their first win at Williamsport.
“When we found out the 12U was starting and we did All-Stars, we knew it was our biggest chance to get this far,” Bruning said. “I dropped softball over the summer so I could do that, because that’s once in a lifetime.”
Bruning marked his career at the top of the second inning. After a single touchdown pass, Washington pitcher Sanath Chari hit the ground hard, but he refused the attention of the trainer and rejoined his teammates on the pitch. He then took advantage of two wild throws to take the third and then home.
On the mound, Dylan Regala, Myles McCarty and Landry Pate shared the victory for the stop. Regala threw the first two innings, eliminating three batters and allowing just one hit. McCarty also allowed just one shot and had two strikeouts, and Pate added twice despite throwing just 11 pitches in the sixth.
Washington struggled to find a rhythm, playing six different pitchers during the six-inning game. Their defense collapsed in the top of the sixth, when they allowed five of Texas ’six runs.
The second run, scored by McCarty, was almost identical to Bruning’s. McCarty was reached in first place by Kellen Kinney of Washington and advanced to second place when he was also the next hitter. He took third place with a perfectly executed sacrifice ball from Colton Skiles and returned home with a mischievous pitch.
Four more races were scored in quick succession. With two runners at the base, Carter Nelson hit a line to the left field that brought Stetson Newman home, and after Washington made a mistake by throwing a Brody Martin single, both Regala and Nelson scored.
Bruning finished his performance with a drive line on the right field that led Pate to the home plate to put Texas 6-0 up. This success made her the third girl in the history of the Little League World Series to have two hits in one game.
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“They had a lot of good quality bats and few results at the start of the game,” Texas coach Bryan Bruning said. “We told them to keep pushing, to keep their heads up and keep fighting, and it ended in that last entry for us.”
In the Southwest Regional Tournament, Texas lost to Louisiana 6-2 after a 2-0 lead early in the game, but this time was able to maintain its lead until the final throw.
“We kept our confidence,” football center Cason Parrish said. “We just had to keep driving. Today he helped us a lot and our defense was excellent. We played very well as a team.
Texas will face Michigan on Sunday, beating Florida 8-0 before Friday. Coach Reggie Regala said Parrish will be the team’s starting pitcher in this game.