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In the News: Katie Brownell
Katie Brownell made the news in Scholastic News Edition 4, September 5, 2005.

Katie Brownell
Katie Brownell
(Photo: AP Wide World)
Katie Brownell couldn't have pitched any better. The 11-year-old hurler from Oakfield, New York, struck out everybody who came to bat against her in a little-league baseball game in May. And she's the only girl on the team.

Oakfield-Alabama little-league officials believe that it's the first time a pitcher struck out all 18 batters in their league. "As far back as I can remember, I don't ever recall hearing of a perfect game," said league president Eric Klotzbach.

Brownell was almost removed from the game in the fourth inning. Her coach, not realizing Katie was pitching a no-hitter, was about to pull her when the scorekeeper called his attention to what she was doing.

"Since we had a big lead, the coach wanted to give another player a chance to pitch," recalls Katie. But she stayed in, pitched a gem, and led her Oakfield Dodgers to an 11-0 win over the opposing Yankees.

"I practice all the time," said the ace pitcher. "When I pitch I throw the ball to the outside corner so the batters think it's going to be a ball, and then it curves in."

The sixth-grader learned to play ball from her older brothers. Now in the sixth grade, she has been pitching for three years.

"We were always outside, so the minute she could pick up a ball, she was playing," said her mother, Denise Bischoff.

Once word spread, Katie became an overnight sensation. She appeared on the morning talk shows, but turned down an appearance on a late night talk show. She would have had to miss a game.

More importantly, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum paid tribute to her accomplishment. On July 7, she donated her perfect game jersey to the Hall of Fame during special ceremonies in Cooperstown, New York.

"Her overall success in little league demonstrates that baseball gives boys and girls a fair and equal opportunity to both play and be very successful," said Jeff Idelson, vice president of communications and education for the Baseball Hall of Fame.