AP Photo/PennLive.com, Sean Simmers
Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014 | 2 a.m.
All eyes have been on pitcher Mo’ne Davis from Philadelphia at the Little League World Series.
The 13-year-old Davis throws a 70 mph fastball and already registered a shutout last week against a team from Tennessee. Davis, though, is in the spotlight for another reason — she’s a girl, a rarity in high-level baseball.
Davis is on the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated, was profiled by People and been the top story on multiple TV news programs.
At 4:30 p.m. today, she’ll face a squad some feel is the best at the 16-team World Series — Mountain Ridge Little League from Las Vegas. The game will be televised on ESPN and could shatter ratings records, especially in Southern Nevada.
Mountain Ridge’s 13-2 victory Sunday against Chicago on ABC drew a 9.4 local rating in Las Vegas, according to data provided by ESPN. That was the highest local market rating this year for the event. Ratings correspond to the percentage of homes tuned into television.
Last Thursday when Mountain Ridge beat a team from South Dakota, the game drew an overnight rating of 4.4 in Las Vegas. At the time, that was the most-watched Little League game ever in Las Vegas, according to ESPN figures. Nationally, the game had a 0.6 rating with 778,000 viewers.
Davis’ game last Friday drew a 1.0 nationally on ESPN. Her game Sunday had a 1.5 rating on ESPN2.
Mountain Ridge and Davis’ Taney Youth Baseball Association Little League, the Mid-Atlantic Region champs, are both undefeated in the event at 2-0. The winner advances to the U.S. title game.
While Davis has been dominant, she hasn’t faced a lineup with as much depth as Mountain Ridge.
Mountain Ridge’s batters Nos. 1-4 — Zachary Hare, Austin Kryszczuk, Brennan Holligan and Bradley Stone — combined to bat 8 for 12 with four home runs, 11 RBIs and eight runs scored in Sunday’s win. Mountain Ridge slugged five home runs, including two by Kryszczuk.
Mountain Ridge is 15-0 this summer and has outscored opponents 172-26. They won both World Series games by the 10-run mercy rule.
“She’s a great pitcher. She mixes speed well,” Kryszczuk, who is 5 for 6 in two World Series games and considered the event’s best player, told ABC after Sunday’s game. “... We have 14 guys on this team that do a lot of damage. Play Ridge baseball and we’ll do great.”