little league world series

Before Mo'ne Davis: Meet the first US girl in the Little League World Series

Aug. 21, 2014 at 5:21 PM ET

Twenty-five years before Mo'ne Davis grabbed the spotlight with her scintillating pitching performances, Victoria Ruelas paved the way as the first American girl to play in the Little League World Series

Then known as Victoria Brucker, she starred for the team from San Pedro, California, in 1989. Ruelas put her name in the record books as the first American girl to pitch and get a hit in the Little League World Series. Her feats came 15 years after girls were first allowed to play Little League baseball in 1974. NBC Nightly News profiled her history-making journey in the tournament at the time. 

A pitcher-first baseman, Ruelas, then 12, hit nine home runs during the team's run to Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and registered her lone hit in a game against Venezuela. The team eventually lost to the champions-to-be from Trumbull, Connecticut. 

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