Stella Weaver ties mark with 4th hit in LLWS

August 24th, 2023

They didn’t call them “Stella and the Fellas” for nothing. But Little League phenom Stella Weaver wasn’t in Williamsport, Pa. just to show face. She showed up to make some history.

In an elimination bracket semifinal game against California on Wednesday, Weaver -- a 12-year-old from Nolensville Little League -- recorded her fourth hit in Tennessee’s fourth LLWS game, tying the all-time record for hits by a girl in the tournament. Weaver matched a 25-year-old record set by Japan’s Sayaka Tsushima, who had four hits in five games in 1998.

Weaver has been making headlines nationally ever since throwing a shutout in a 10-0 win over Alabama in both teams’ opening Southeast Regional contest.

When Nolensville won that regional tournament to clinch a Little League World Series spot, it ensured that Weaver would become the 22nd female participant in LLWS history. This is the fourth consecutive tournament to feature at least one girl -- the 2019, 2021 and 2022 LLWS all had one apiece (there was no tournament in 2020).

But with all due respect to those who came just before her, Weaver broke records in a manner that hasn’t been seen since Philadelphia’s Mo’ne Davis stole the show on a national scale nine years ago. Davis, for what it’s worth, was one of many baseball figures to notice Weaver’s rapid ascent, wishing good luck to the 12-year-old before the Southeast Regional championship win over Florida.

Another Philadelphia baseball legend also gave Weaver a shoutout when Bryce Harper had a conversation with Tennessee’s star while in Williamsport.

Weaver’s production wasn't only historic; it also was clutch. The hit against California came with her team trailing 1-0 in the second inning, though it didn't end up producing a run. And in a previous elimination game against Nevada on Tuesday, she singled in the fifth inning and eventually scored to put Tennessee up 2-0 -- a run that proved to be extremely necessary in a 2-1 win.

"That's crazy to me," Weaver told The Tennessean after the hit against Nevada, which made her the first American girl to have three hits in the LLWS. "Me and Coach Randy [Huth] made a bucket list. We did how many hits has a girl ever had in the U.S. I thought it was so much fun. Getting that hit was just crazy."

As impressive as her hitting metrics are, Weaver also almost made history on the other side of the ball on Monday. Tennessee’s tallest player (listed at 5-foot-8, 120 pounds), Weaver has been clocked as high as 68 mph, and she attempted to join Davis as the only girls to win a game on the mound in LLWS history. But Tennessee fell, 6-2, to Washington in her lone pitching start of the tournament.

Despite that loss, Weaver was a revelation for her squad. In addition to the aforementioned hits record, she also joined Texas’ Ella Bruning (2021) as the only girls to score a run in the LLWS since Guam's Brielle Meno in 2008.

Because Tennessee fell to California on Wednesday, Nolensville -- which was remarkably making its third straight LLWS appearance -- is done for the summer, finishing in fourth place among American teams and failing to bring home the state's first-ever LLWS title. But despite the lack of championship hardware, Stella and the Fellas turned some heads all summer long.