I'm a little late on picking up this story:
Her perfect game was even more perfect than the common definition of the term, which refers to a pitching performance in which every batter is turned back, either by striking out or hitting a ball that results in an out.
Katie made it simpler: She struck out everybody, yielding no more than two balls to any batter.
"I can't remember this ever happening," said Mr. Sage....
He said players on other teams in the league might find it unnerving to be overpowered by a girl on the pitcher's mound, but that Katie's teammates "think it is great that she's on our side."
Even before the game on Saturday, which was her team's third outing this year, Katie demonstrated striking abilities on the mound, relying almost entirely on a fastball that she can "place just about where she wants," Mr. Sage said. In the season's first game, she allowed only one hit and struck out 14 batters in five innings.
She is also a major threat at the plate, with a batting average of .714 after three games.
Ms. Bischoff said her daughter had been an avid baseball player since she was about 6, and learned the game from two older brothers. But she said Katie's first year as the only girl in the Little League was trying, and her teammates sometimes told her she should play softball with the other girls.
The last part is telling, and I think stresses the importance of Title IX and providing access for women to athletic resources in schools. As girls get taller, thanks to better nutrition for girls -- is this a result of less gender bias at the family dinner table? (Johnny eat up and build your strength, Sally you'd better stop eating or you'll get fat!) -- many of the obvious disparities in performance are diminishing. If you take a professional female athlete and pit her against an amateur male, odds are now that she'll kick his butt. (How many beach bums could score even one point against Kerri Walsh and Misty May? How many Bobby Riggses are out there, still convinced of inherent male superiority, despite training, technique or tenacity?)
Ours is a culture obsessed with sports. I don't really get into watching sports -- it's all rather boring, if you ask me -- but I'm grateful for the industry because it helps men vent their frustrations and insecurities that otherwise might come out in the form of more wars and murders and other violence. On the other hand, because of all the money in men's sports business, there's a definite imbalance in where money in sports education goes. Is that fair?
Are men's baseball players more deserving of college resources than women ballplayers because millions of people like to get drunk and watch professional baseball on TV and in ballparks? Are women somehow less deserving because of beliefs that women just can't compete with men?
The fact that one 11-year-old girl whiffed an entire team of boys in what is considered a boys' game I believe is proof that no assumptions of performance can be made based on gender. Girls kick ass, and now that being competitive and physical fit and strong are not so widely discouraged in girls, we're starting to see the results.
Of course, the male sports culture, based as it is on the fragile male ego, is not ready to deal with competing with women. The very few women in college football, for example, have faced harrassment -- or even rape. The women in the military face similar treatment.
Obviously men's culture has to grow up and own up to their own violence and misogyny. That means that the men who don't beat and rape women need to start asserting some authority over what is acceptable men's behavior. And that ranges into politics as well, and the misogynistic legislative agenda of the conservatives to take away birth control from wives and mothers and little girls. Where are the men? The women are speaking up, but most men are silent on this. Many in liberal circles will even deny that it's an issue.
An entire team of boys got struck out by a girl. Is this the kind of thing it will take to get met to treat women as equals?