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September 18, 2014

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2 girls won’t face off in Little League final

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AP Photo/Charles Krupa

In this Aug. 6, 2014, photo, Pennsylvania pitcher Mo’Ne Davis follows through on a throw prior to facing the District of Columbia in the Little League Eastern Regionals at Breen Stadium in Bristol, Conn.

BRISTOL, Conn. — Two girls on teams competing to make it to the Little League World Series won't be facing each other in the Mid-Atlantic regional championship after all.

On Friday, Mo'Ne Davis' Taney Youth Baseball Association team from Philadelphia defeated the Colonie, New York, team 6-5 to advance to Sunday's finals. Thirteen-year-old Mo'Ne did some key base-running in the fifth-inning, when Taney took the lead for good. She reached base on an error, went to third on a single and scored on a two-run single.

But 12-year-old Kayla Roncin's Toms River, New Jersey, team lost 4-3 to the Newark, Delaware, team. Kayla, who plays first base, came to bat in the bottom of the sixth inning for Toms River with two outs, two runners on base and her team down by a run. She fell behind in the count then hit a ground ball to second base for a tag play to end the game.

Sunday's winner will advance to the World Series starting Aug. 14 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Girls playing in Little league isn't new. But only 16 girls have played in the Little League World Series in the past 67 years, Little League spokesman Brian McClintock said.

Mo'ne had said earlier this week it would have been fun to compete against another girl.

The Taney manager, Alex Rice, calls Mo'ne his big-game pitcher.

"She's one of the core team leaders," he said this week. "She's unflappable."

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