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There won't be another Mo'ne at this year's Little League World Series

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Mo'ne Davis Doesn't Care For Softball, Wants Baseball To Go Co-Ed


PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Mo'ne Davis was the talk of the sports world and beyond after becoming the first female to win a game in the Little League World Series. Her success has inspired other girls to pursue baseball, though no girls will be playing for the championship at Williamsport when the 16-team tournament starts Thursday.

"Females playing in the world series is a matter of luck," said Stephen D. Keener, chief executive of Little League. Many teams compete for each of the spots and participation from girls is still relatively low.

Davis and her Taney Dragons won the Mid-Atlantic Regional last year and the teenager captivated fans with her performance on the mound. She tossed a two-hitter with eight strikeouts to help Philadelphia beat Nashville 4-0 in the series opener for both teams, becoming the only girl to get a shutout in series history.

That thrust Davis into the national spotlight and she became an overnight celebrity.

Davis appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated and was named The Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year. She wrote a book, starred in a Spike Lee-directed car commercial, became the subject of a Disney Channel movie and met President Barack Obama and his family at the White House.

"You want to always follow your dreams," she said.

It's no coincidence more girls were playing with the boys on baseball diamonds across the country this summer. Ellen Siegel, secretary of the Taney Youth Baseball Association, estimated a 20-25 percent increase in female participation, including softball where the league expanded to two age divisions.

"The other difference that I noticed was in coaches," Siegel said. "They seemed much more eager to draft girls for their teams this season. And that I definitely attribute to Mo'ne."

Little League won't have final participation numbers for the entire program until later this fall.

"She got a lot of attention so there's probably a lot of parents out there who looked at what she was doing and hoped their daughter would have that opportunity," Kleener said.

Beyond her performance - she was the 18th girl to play in the Little League World Series and the sixth to get a hit - Davis impressed with her poise as her publicity soared. She threw out the first pitch in Game 4 of the World Series, played in the celebrity basketball game at NBA All-Star weekend and marched with her Taney Dragons teammates in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.

"She's always quick to point out that the attention she's receiving wouldn't be happening if it weren't for her teammates and that's such a mature outlook for a kid her age," Keener said. "Not a lot of kids show that maturity in the spotlight and scrutiny and she does it all the time."

Her advice to others: "Be respectful, be calm and don't let anything get to you."

Davis, who turned 14 in June, pitched from regulation distance in a fall league last year and this summer. That made it tougher to dominate.

"She did well," coach Steve Bandura said. "It's a lot different from 60-feet, 6-inches. Nobody's blowing the ball past anyone, but she threw strikes."

MORE ON MO'NE:

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Mo'ne Davis - last updated 03/22/2015
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There won't be another Mo'ne at this year's Little League World Series
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 21: (L-R) Mark Williams, Mo'ne Davis, Mahogany Williams, Yasir, Quran Davis, Lakeisha McLean and Maurice Boykin attend 'Mo'ne Davis: Remember My Name: My Story From First Pitch To Game Changer' book signing at Barnes & Noble on March 21, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 21: Books on display during 'Mo'ne Davis: Remember My Name: My Story From First Pitch To Game Changer' book signing at Barnes & Noble on March 21, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 21: Mo'ne Davis Signs Copies Of 'Mo'ne Davis: Remember My Name: My Story From First Pitch To Game Changer' at Barnes & Noble on March 21, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Mo'ne Davis, the first female pitcher to win a game in the Little League World Series and is in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, talks to Robin Roberts about her inspiring memoir in front of an audience of little leaguers, on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, airing THURSDAY, MARCH 19 (7-9am, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Mo'ne Davis, the first female pitcher to win a game in the Little League World Series and is in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, talks to Robin Roberts about her inspiring memoir in front of an audience of little leaguers, on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, airing THURSDAY, MARCH 19 (7-9am, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Mo'ne Davis, the first female pitcher to win a game in the Little League World Series and is in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, talks to Robin Roberts about her inspiring memoir in front of an audience of little leaguers, on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, airing THURSDAY, MARCH 19 (7-9am, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Mo'ne Davis, the first female pitcher to win a game in the Little League World Series and is in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, talks to Robin Roberts about her inspiring memoir in front of an audience of little leaguers, on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, airing THURSDAY, MARCH 19 (7-9am, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Mo'ne Davis, the first female pitcher to win a game in the Little League World Series and is in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, talks to Robin Roberts about her inspiring memoir in front of an audience of little leaguers, on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, airing THURSDAY, MARCH 19 (7-9am, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: Mo'ne Davis Little League star attends the Competitions as part of the 2015 NBA Allstar Weekend at Barclays Center on February 14, 2015 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: Mo'ne Davis Little League star attends the Competitions as part of the 2015 NBA Allstar Weekend at Barclays Center on February 14, 2015 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, NY - FEBRUARY 14: Kevin Hart and Mo'ne Davis sit together during the Taco Bell Skills Challenge on State Farm All-Star Saturday Night as part of the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 14, 2015 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Little League baseball star Mo'Ne Davis is introduced during the Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at Madison Square Garden on February 13, 2015 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: Kristen Ledlow interviews Mo'ne Davis during NBA All-Star Practice as part of 2015 All-Star Weekend at Madison Square Garden on February 14, 2015 in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: Mo'ne Davis attends State Farm All-Star Saturday Night - NBA All-Star Weekend 2015 at Barclays Center on February 14, 2015 in New York, New York. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 25: Little League Baseball pitcher Mo'ne Davis reacts after she throws out the ceremonial first pitch before Game Four of the 2014 World Series at AT&T Park on October 25, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Kyle Terada-Pool/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 25: Little League Baseball pitcher Mo'ne Davis waves after she throws out the ceremonial first pitch before Game Four of the 2014 World Series at AT&T Park on October 25, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 27: Pitcher Mo'ne Davis #3 of Philadelphia Little League Baseball team Taney Dragons attends a parade celebrating the team's championship on August 27, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 27: Pitcher Mo'ne Davis #3 (center) of Philadelphia Little League baseball team Taney Dragons attends a parade celebrating the team's championship on August 27, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 27: Pitcher Mo'ne Davis #3 of Philadelphia Little League Baseball team Taney Dragons attends a parade celebrating the team's championship on August 27, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 25: Pitcher Mo'ne Davis tapes an interview at 'Good Morning America' at the ABC Times Square Studios on August 25, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/GC Images)
Hopefully we get a win today. 🙏 #llws2014
So grateful! 🙏 ⚾️💨
My own Fast Ball
Love all the support! ⚾️💨#llws2014
Love this! Thanks whoever made this. 
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