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Apopka pitcher records a 1-hitter

©Associated Press

© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 20, 2001


SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Justin Lafavers struck out 11 and was within one strike of a no-hitter to lead Apopka to a 2-0 victory over Bainbridge Island, Wash., on Sunday in the Little League World Series for 11- and 12-year-olds.

Peter Leslie's two-out single to center in the sixth was the only hit for Bainbridge Island. Apopka, which was the victim of a perfect game Saturday against the Bronx, N.Y., had five hits, including two from Lafavers.

Apopka broke a scoreless tie in the fifth when Andrew Cobb singled and was sacrificed to second. Stuart Tapley hit a run-scoring single and scored on Lafavers' single.

"I think our centerfielder got a bad start on their only hit," Lafavers said. "But we won the game, and that's more important."

CALIFORNIA 5, LOUISIANA 2: David Carroll drove an outside curveball over the centerfield fence for a three-run homer that gave Oceanside, Calif., the victory over South Lake Charles, La.

"I was just trying to put the ball in play," Carroll said, adding that he didn't think he had hit a home run at first. "It was low, but I guess I hit it hard enough."

The win guarantees Oceanside a spot in the U.S. semifinals.

CURACAO 10, SAUDI ARABIA 3: Erick Rafael had three hits, including a home run, to lead Curacao, which broke a tie at 3 with four runs in the third, the only RBI coming on Arthur McDonald's single. Rafael extended the lead to 8-3 with a home run in the fourth.

RAINED OUT: Games between Davenport, Iowa, and the Bronx, and between Mexico and Russia were postponed by rain. The Davenport-Bronx game was rescheduled for this morning. Mexico-Russia was rescheduled for Tuesday.

First girl in Little League fights for recognition

Kathryn Johnston Massar was the first girl to play in Little League, but it took years to prove it, and she had to prove it more than once.

Under the name Tubby Johnston, with short hair tucked under her cap, 12-year-old Kathryn and her brother Tommy tried out for the Kings Dairy Little League team in Corning, N.Y., in 1950.

"They didn't know I was a girl, and my brother didn't say anything," she said. "If I had told them my real name, they wouldn't have let me play. So I told them my name was Tubby, from the character in the cartoon strip Little Lulu.

"I played a couple of weeks and then I talked to my coach. I said: 'I really need to tell you something. I'm not a boy. I'm a girl.' He said, 'That's okay, you're a darned good player.' So I ended up playing the whole season at first base and became sort of a drawing card, because everybody wanted to see a girl play."

Because of her age, her Little League career ended after that season. But participation produced the "Tubby Rule" prohibiting girls from playing in Little League.

She forgot about her place in Little League history until 1974, when her twin sister phoned and told her about a 12-year-old who was credited with being the first girl in Little League. She called the league to set the record straight.

Recognition eluded her again 18 months ago when the Little League decided to celebrate what it said was the 25th anniversary of the first girl to play in the sport. League researcher Lance Van Auken, however, discovered Massar's earlier letters in an old file cabinet in the league office. Massar was honored by throwing out the first pitch in this year's World Series.

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