Two girls prove Little League isn't just for boys

In the 40 years since girls were first allowed to play in Little League, just 16 have made it to the World Series.

This year, two more girls are vying for the chance to get on that list: 13-year-old Mo'ne Davis and 12-year-old Kayla Roncin. Both girls have skills that have helped their teams become top contenders, CBS News' Elaine Quijano reports.

With the state title on the line in last week's championship game, Kayla hit a crushing two-run homer, putting her Toms River, New Jersey, team ahead.

Kayla runs the bases.
Kayla runs the bases.
LiSPN.com

But Kayla did not stop there. In the bottom of the ninth, with the bases loaded, she took the pitcher's mound and threw a fastball low. That turned into a pop-up, giving Toms River the victory and sending it to the Mid-Atlantic regional finals - a step closer to the Little League World Series.

"When I was little, I was watching a Yankee game with my dad and it looked really fun to play, so I told him I wanted to play one day," Kayla said. She was about 3 years old at the time.

Her dad Ray Roncin, who's also a coach, bought her a glove, and by 5, Kayla was playing T-ball. Seven years later, she's better than most boys.

"She's good, period," Roncin said. "I mean, she's right stride-to-stride with every top- you figure, she's part of one of the top teams in the country right now. We're 4-0 with a chance to go to Williamsport, so that's something special, really is."

Her teammates, aged 12-13, don't see her as a girl; they see her as a key player.

"She adds a lot of defensive work at first base," said teammate Jason Kapp. "There was one game in Sayreville, I remember, hard liners right at her, she fielded all four of them - amazing plays."

Mo'ne pitches her signature fastball.
Mo'ne pitches her signature fastball.
Patrick Florescio

"It's just like having another boy on the team. I mean, it's really cool," teammate Nick DeRose said.

Kayla isn't the only girl hoping to make it to the World Series in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania; so is Mo'ne of Philadelphia's Taney Youth Baseball Association.

"We're trying to put the name Taney out there in the world to let everyone know that inner-city kids can make a big difference in the baseball industry," Mo'ne said.

The right-handed pitcher is helping redefine what it means to "throw like a girl."

"Just throw strikes," Mo'ne said. "That's all you gotta do is throw strikes."

Last week, she struck out 10 batters with precise pitches delivered at more than 70 mph.

little-league.jpg
Kayla and Mo'ne
CBS News

No girl has ever been part of a team that's won it all. Both Mo'ne and Kayla, who met briefly this week, hope to change that.

"I think it's really cool that other girls want to play," Kayla said, "and they're looking up to me."

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