Minnesota’s Maddy Freking on Sunday became just the sixth girl to pitch in the Little League World Series ― and perhaps the first to be compared with New York Mets star Noah Syndergaard by a Major League manager, USA Today reported.
In a losing cause for her Midwest team, Maddy struck out a Southeast (Virginia) batter looking, and rushed off the mound to field a batted ball while throwing home for the out, highlights show.
Maddy, 12, is the first girl pitcher to take the mound in the LLWS since the much-celebrated Mo’ne Davis in 2014. (Incidentally, Davis reportedly has signed to play softball for Hampton University.)
Maddy’s team lost 11-0, but she earned high praise from Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, who was in attendance.
“The last time I saw that much blonde hair throwing that hard, it was Syndergaard,” Hurdle told ESPN in the clip below. “That was bringing the heat! It’s been fun to watch her.”
Syndergaard is considered one of the premier fireballers in MLB.
“We’ve seen [Maddy’s] team play multiple times, and she’s always involved in some kind of action,” Hurdle added. “So I’m sure everybody back where’s she’s from is proud of her, proud of the whole group.”
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported that the Midwest team had been eliminated after its loss to the Southeast.