Ella Bruning has become the person everyone wants to talk to in South Williamsport, Pa., this week.
For the record:
7:48 a.m. Aug. 27, 2021Updated final game score against Michigan from 10-0 to 15-6.
Baseball is a family affair in the Bruning household. Ella’s father, Bryan, has coached his children for over 10 years and is an assistant on the Abilene squad. Her younger brother, Dillon, is an outfielder and second baseman for the team. Their older brother, Collin, sits in the stands and cheers, admittedly jealous that his team missed out on this opportunity a few years ago.
The starting catcher for the Wylie Little League team from Abilene, Texas, is the 20th female to play in the Little League World Series and the only girl to compete in this year’s tournament. She can hit, pitch, steal bases and take a foul ball off the knee.
I think she caught a line drive one day and some of the boys teased her about being on the team. From that point, it was always a joke that she would play and, eventually, she did.
— Lindi Bruning - Mother of Ella
In Texas’s 6-0 win over Washington on Friday, she stole second, scored the first run and led the team with two hits and an RBI, becoming just the third girl to have a multi-hit game in the Little League World Series.
Her toughness behind the plate has been documented over the course of the week. After taking a foul ball to the knee on Monday afternoon, in a 6-5 loss to Michigan, she stayed in the game and blocked the next three pitches off her chest in the dirt with perfect form.
Ella started at catcher again on Tuesday, playing her third error-free game in a row at the tournament as Texas beat New Jersey 2-1 to stave off elimination, they rallied again beating Nevada 10-1.
Texas tried to stave off elimination against Michigan, their second appearance against this team in the tournament, falling down 10-0 by the bottom of the third. They rallied back in the fourth, scoring six runs at the top of the fourth, keeping the game alive and avoiding the 10-run rule. Texas wasn’t able to muster anymore offense, eventually being eliminated from the tournament, 15-6.