Video: “Maddy from Minnesota,” only girl playing in Little League World Series, makes her mark
Aug 20, 2019 11:55AM
● By Editor
Minnesota's Maddy Freking is the first girl since Mo'ne Davis to play in the Little League World Series. Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos
By Aimee Crawford from ESPN - August 20, 2019
Maddy Freking might be a young woman of few words, but thanks to her big plays on Little League's biggest stage, she's making a Mo'ne-like impact.
Freking is the first girl to play in the Little League World Series since 2014, when Mo'ne Davis and Emma March both made it to Williamsport and Davis captivated the country with her pitching wizardry.
"It's an honor," said Freking, the starting second baseman for the Coon Rapids-Andover (Minnesota) team. "I also think it's really cool to be, out of however many boys, the 19th girl to be here."
On Sunday, Freking also became the sixth girl to take the mound at the LLWS. She toed the rubber with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the second inning for her team, which represents the Midwest Region. She caught a Southeast (Loudon, Virginia) opponent looking at strike three for the second out before sprinting off the mound to make a spectacular sliding play and fire the ball home for the final out of the inning.
Freking started the third inning on the mound and was eventually relieved as Minnesota lost 11-0. On Monday night, Minnesota fell 10-0 in four innings to Louisiana in an elimination game.
Being the only girl among the field of 16 teams might be "cool," but what really matters to this matter-of-fact Minnesotan is making plays.
"She's quiet, but she leads by example," said Minnesota manager Greg Bloom, who has coached Freking since she was 10. "Her teammates have never treated her any differently because she's a girl."
To them, she's just a ballplayer.
"We're not surprised when she makes a great play," teammate Wyatt Myers said. "She does it every game."
In the Midwest Regional championship, with Minnesota trailing Iowa 5-1 in the fourth inning and the bases loaded, Freking snared a line drive and alertly fired a laser across the diamond to third to double off the Iowa runner and shut down a rally. Minnesota went on to win 8-6 and advance to Williamsport. In Minnesota's opening LLWS win against Kentucky on Thursday, Freking led her team in assists.
Bloom called her the best defensive second baseman he has coached. "She's a vacuum," he said. "Everything that gets hit near her, she picks it up."
Watch a video of Maddie in action.