Sign Her Up

This is just what the A's need.  She pitches and hits.  She's batting .714, but no mention of her OPS.,0,7353820.story?coll=ny-sports-mezz

OAKFIELD, N.Y. -- Katie Brownell is a shy 11-year-old girl of few words. But when she gets on the baseball field, she lets her pitching do the talking.

Brownell is the only girl in the Oakfield-Alabama Little League baseball program in this community about halfway between Buffalo and Rochester. On Saturday, that didn't stop her from accomplishing something league officials can't remember anybody -- boy or girl -- ever doing.

She threw a perfect game for the Dodgers in an 11-0 victory over the Yankees.

How dominant was she? She struck out all 18 batters she faced in the six-inning victory. She never got to a three-ball count on any of them.

"As far back as I can remember, I don't ever recall hearing of a perfect game," said Eric Klotzbach, league president.

Katie said she knew she had a chance for something special in the fourth inning. Fortunately, Katie's coach, Joe Sullivan, realized that, too.

He had intended to pull Katie at some point during the game and was ready to do it when the scorekeeper told him she had a no-hitter going.

"I can't pull her out," Sullivan said after taking a look at the score book himself.

So, Katie kept mowing down the opposition and completed the task. Then the place exploded.

"Everybody congratulated me," Katie said.

Katie, who is in 6th grade, also pitched a one-hitter in the first game of the year. She accounted for all 15 outs in the five innings she pitched in that game. She had 14 strikeouts and got the other out on a grounder to the mound that she tossed to first.

"She's been pitching for three years, but she's really came on and excelled this year," said Jeff Sage, manager of the team, who didn't get to see Saturday's game because of his job as a firefighter in Rochester. "She bats really well. She's a solid, all-around ballplayer."

At the plate, Katie's hitting .714 through the team's first three games.

Her sense for the game developed from playing baseball with siblings and friends.

"She had older brothers and we were always outside, so the minute she could pick up a ball, she was" playing, said her mother, Denise Bischoff.

In her first year with the Dodgers, Katie, the daughter of Mark Brownell, played with her older brothers, Jonathan and Joshua. Initially, she wasn't even going to play baseball this year, and instead eyed the softball team.

"Two weeks before the first game, when was it too late for her to switch over to softball, she decided to stick with hardball," Sullivan said. "Fortunately for us."