WALPOLE, Mass. — For the first time in Walpole Little League history, two girls were starting pitchers in a Majors baseball game Monday night.
Kelly O’Brien, 10, starting for the Dodgers, and Adriana Torres, 12, who plays for the Orioles, each pitched two innings in a hard-fought win, with the Dodgers pulling ahead late in the game.
“I think it’s cool playing against boys, too, because you get to show them what you got,” Adriana said. “I struck out a few kids on the mound, and it felt good, because they probably learned from that, ‘Maybe she’s not so bad.’”
Kelly and Adriana are among eight girls out of 406 Walpole Little League players. They are the only two girls in the Majors, a highly competitive division kids must be drafted to.
The fourth- and sixth-graders’ teammates are supportive and always cheer them on. But if there had been any doubt the girls could compete, Kelly and Adriana eliminated that Monday night.
“They get a little bit too cocky and strike out,” Kelly said with a laugh.
Steve McMann, Walpole Little League President, said youth baseball participation has been lagging in his town and nearly every community in recent years but is starting to rise again following the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re hoping something like this Monday night will get even more girls playing and try to be the next Adriana and Kelly,” McMann said. “Monday night was really special. Walpole baseball overall has a rich history, and to have two females on the mound for the first time ever is just an amazing moment and great for the kids overall.”
Adriana’s father, David Torres, who is an assistant coach, said he is not only proud of the girls but also hopeful they will inspire other girls to follow their dreams.
“What would be a blessing would be, even one girl sees this [story] tonight and understands they can do whatever they put their minds to,” Torres said. “If they have that ‘it’ they want to do, regardless of what it is, they can make it happen.”
The girls, too, hope their success encourages younger girls.
“I’m blazing the trail for other girls to follow my tracks,” Adriana said. “If girls are sitting at home and watching this, I want them to know that they shouldn’t be shy; they should go ahead for it. And don’t listen to what other people have to say.”
“Don’t be afraid,” Kelly added. “It’s just boys. Boys and girls can do the same thing.”
Kelly and Adriana also play for all-girls travel program Boston Slammers. Representing the state, they will travel with their team to Colorado in July when they participate in the Baseball For All tournament, where all-girls teams will compete, from 10-year-olds to college students.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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