PARKLAND, Fla. – Valentina Smith doesn’t just play with the boys, she strikes them out — over and over.
“They’re like, ‘Oh, she’s just a girl. This is going to be easy.’ Because sometimes when I go out to pitch, I start off with a change-up and some of them laugh and smile, but then, I throw a fast ball and they actually start getting serious and their smiles start to fade away.”
Two weeks ago, she hit the first ever over-the-fence home run by a girl in Parkland Little League history.
Valentina is talented and works very hard off the field — and she loves the grind.
She says she wants to be an inspiration to other girls who want to do what she does.
“I’ve always wanted to show girls that they can do it just as good or maybe even better than what boys can do,” she says. “There are going to be a lot of obstacles. There are going to be a lot of people who say, ‘You can’t do it because you’re a girl.’ I say to not listen to them. Always shoot reach for the stars, always push through, don’t quit.’”
Now, she is a major reason why the Parkland All-Stars are three wins away from the Little League World Series.
And one of her favorite parts of playing? The traveling.
“One of my favorite parts is always traveling, hotels, food,” she says laughing.