The starting catcher for the Wylie Little League team from Abilene, Texas is the 20th girl to play in the Little League World Series.
Ella Bruning is a rock star at the Little League World Series and she's just 12 years old! The starting catcher for the Wylie Little League team from Abilene, Texas, is impressing fans with her ability to hit, field, and steal bases. She's also making a name for herself by being the 20th girl to play in the Little League World Series and the only girl to compete in this year’s tournament. According to The Washington Post, she stole second, scored the first run, and led the team with two hits and an RBI in Texas’s 6-0 win over Washington on Friday. She's breaking records too! She became the third girl to have a multi-hit game in the Little League World Series. “She’s a role model for my daughter and a bunch of the younger sisters on this team,” Texas manager Reggie Regala said. “She’s always been that way, and now that she’s on this big stage, she’s a huge role model for girls everywhere.”
The young sportsgirl has had a love for the game ever since she was even younger. She would play outfield for her older brother Collin’s team when she was seven years old. “I think she caught a line drive one day and some of the boys teased her about being on the team,” Ella’s mom, Lindi, recalled. “From that point, it was always a joke that she would play and, eventually, she did. She has always been pretty natural and likes the competition that the league provides,” Lindi said. “I grew up watching my brother play All-Stars for Wylie,” Bruning told the Abilene Reporter-News prior to the Little League World Series. “It started as a joke that I was going to play, but then we actually signed me up. I played, made the All-Star team, and kept going.”
The youngster, who also pitches, has caught the attention of former Little League World Series standout Mo’ne Davis, who was the first girl to earn a win as a pitcher in 2014. “It’s cool to see [Bruning] do such great things,” Davis told USA Today. “I cheer for her and hope she makes it a fun tournament and really hope she likes it, because it’s such a fun experience.”
Super cool moment 👏— ESPN (@espn) August 24, 2021
Mo'ne Davis threw out the first pitch to Ella Bruning at the LLWS 🙌 pic.twitter.com/rg5gayrUve
According to Sun Gazette, her parents and coach are in awe of what their daughter has achieved so far. “I’m just proud of the ball player she is and the impact she’s had on the success the team has had,” Ella’s father and Texas coach Bryan Bruning said. “She plays the game because she loves it. Hopefully what people see is her passion and energy for the game.” Just before her debut against Washington, Ella shared, “I’m really excited for that because we’ve already played on TV before and I’m excited to do things a lot of people don’t get to do. This is once in a lifetime experience and I’ve got to make the best of it.” Ella has been praised for how well she works with her teammates and how well she can lead a team. "It’s cool because I’m involved in every pitch and every play of the game,” Ella said. “You can’t play without a catcher and we have a bunch of good pitchers on our team. Every pitcher on our team can pitch, so I know what to expect when I catch them and it’s cool that I can work with all of them at different times.”
The Bruning family after Friday’s win by Wylie at the Little League World Series.— Evan Nemec (@EpicNemec) August 21, 2021
Ella, dad & coach Bryan, & little brother Dillon.
Ella continues to be a star — 2 hits, an RBI and a run on Friday! Wylie plays Michigan next on Sunday at 12pm Abilene time. pic.twitter.com/s0prl3fmfT