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12-year-old Texas catcher is the only girl in Little League World Series and setting new records

Ella Bruning is playing for the Wylie Little League team from Abilene, Texas, and is already making waves.

12-year-old Texas catcher is the only girl in Little League World Series and setting new records
Image source: Screenshot/ESPN

Ella Bruning is making the headlines after becoming the only girl to compete in this year's Little League World Series. The 12-year-old from Texas is the starting catcher for the Wylie Little League team from Abilene, Texas and is set to become the 20th girl to play in the world series. Ella, who can hit, pitch, steal bases and take a foul ball off the knee, starred in her side's 6-0 win over Washington. She she stole second, scored the first run and led the team with two hits and an RBI. She is only the third girl to have a multi-hit game in the Little League World Series, reported Today.


She's already made her mark and is inspiring other girls to follow in her path. “She’s a role model for my daughter and a bunch of the younger sisters on this team,” said the Texas manager Reggie Regala. “She’s always been that way, and now that she’s on this big stage, she’s a huge role model for girls everywhere.” For Ella, her love for baseball started early. The Bruning household is baseball mad and her father Bryan is an assistant on the Abilene squad and has been coaching kids for more than decade. 



It was a huge occassion for the family with her younger brother, Dillon, involved as well, as an outfielder and second baseman for the team. Their older brother, Collin, was cheering on from the stands. Ella started as early 7-years-old and it's always been a running joke about her making it. “I think she caught a line drive one day and some of the boys teased her about being on the team,” recalled Ella’s mom, Lindi. The half-joke would turn into reality as she made the team. Ella has also developed a certain steel that has served her and the team well. Despite taking a foul ball to the knee, in a a 6-5 loss to Michigan, she soldiered on and blocked the next three pitches off her chest. Her Mom believes she's at home in the Little League World Series. “She has always been pretty natural and likes the competition that the league provides,” said Lindi. 


Ella might have taken to baseball like a duck to water but she's also really good at softball. She opted for baseball this summer and joined the Abilene team. She had to switch her pitching from underhand to overhand, but she was determined to make the team and take Abilene as far as possible in the league. During a regional matchup against Louisiana she struck out a pair of batters on the mound, further underlinging her credentials. She's determined to make the most of her chance. “We knew this (year) was our biggest shot to go this far,” said Ella. “This is once in a lifetime. I have softball for the rest of my life, so I can do this for one year and go right back.”



Ella's Mom said her daughter is inspiring a whole generation of kids and even says Ella might not even realize the impact of what her making the team means many young girls across states. “I gave a pass to a little girl outside who just wanted to see Ella play,” said Lindi. “I saw her back today in an Abilene shirt." While it seem like a big deal for everyone else, Ella is unfazed by the occassion. She has already played her third error-free game in a row and started as catcher again as Texas beat New Jersey 2-1 to save the team from elimination. The coach reserves the highest praise for Ella, and says she belongs. She “handles the attention well."

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