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Bridgeport Bluefish

Girls play ball in boys' world

Girls play ball in boys' world

Spectators gasped as the baseball — thrown inadvertently off course by the pint-sized pitcher — plunked the batter high on the arm.

Charlie Martin, 7, a girl with a traditional boy's name playing in a boys' world, stood at home plate in her baggy uniform, determined to remain as stoic as a big-leaguer in front of everyone at the Towson recreational field.

"I wanted to cry but I knew I shouldn't," said Charlie, whose ponytail extended from her cap and fingernails sparkled with polish. "And even though it hurt a lot, I just tried to tough it out."

Sometimes, there really is no crying in baseball,...