SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — The pitch settled into Scott Bandura’s mitt and Taney pitcher Mo’ne Davis simply jogged off the mound. Her work on Friday afternoon was complete: six innings, nine strikeouts and no runs.
The 13-year-old from South Philadelphia had been the top draw since the 16 teams arrived at the Little League World Series this week. And she lived up to her billing. She struck out the side in the sixth inning to give Taney a 4-0 win over South Nashville in the tournament’s first round.
Davis was aided by Taney’s strong defensive effort. Second baseman Jahli Hendrick dove backward to make a catch to end the first inning. Leftfielder Kai Cummings gracefully tracked down a line drive in the left field gap in the second inning. Jared Sprague-Lott, the shortstop, and third baseman Jack Rice fielded sharp grounders in the third.
The Dragons received all the runs they needed on Sprague-Lott’s three-run homer in the first inning. The team’s players emptied the dugout after his hit settled beyond the left field wall, gathering near home plate. Sprague-Lott turned around third base and slowed down before reaching the mob. He emphatically stomped both feet on home plate. Philadelphia’s first ever team in the Little League World Series had made a thunderous arrival.