Is that Thor? Nope: It's LLWS star Maddy Freking

August 19th, 2019

Maddy Freking became the latest girl to grab the spotlight at the Little League Baseball World Series when she took the mound Sunday for Minnesota -- the Midwest Regional champions -- in Williamsport, Pa.

Freking was called upon with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the second inning against Virginia, the Southeast Regional champs. She was up to the challenge, getting a strikeout looking for the second out of the inning and then springing off the mound to field a slow roller up the third-base line and quickly throwing home for an inning-ending force out.

Freking had already earned her place in history when she started at second base for Minnesota on Friday, becoming the 19th female to play in the LLBWS, and she joined an even more exclusive club Sunday as the sixth girl to pitch in the tournament.

Prior to Freking, the most recent girl to appear and pitch in the LLBWS was Mo'ne Davis, who captured the baseball world's attention with her exceptional performance in 2014.

Freking has drawn her share of recognition as well. Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve donned a Freking No. 11 jersey prior to her team's game on Friday, and Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, who was in attendance Sunday afternoon along with other coaches and players from the club before the 2019 Little League Classic against the Cubs on Sunday night, compared her to one of the game's top pitchers.

"The last time I saw that much blonde hair throwing that hard was [Mets right-hander Noah] Syndergaard," Hurdle said. "Maddy was bringing the heat. It's been fun to watch her."

Freking, whose favorite player is Jackie Robinson, hopes to be an inspiration to other girls looking to break down barriers in the game of baseball.

"It's an honor. I also think it's really cool to be, out of however many boys, the 19th girl to be here," Freking told ESPN. "For any little girls that are watching, I'd tell them to keep playing their game and always do their best."