ABILENE, Texas (BigCountryHomepage.com Sports) — It is never easy being different, but Wylie’s Ella Bruning embraces it. Bruning is the only girl on Wylie Little League’s 12-year-old All-Star team, and she says it means a lot to her that she is treated just like every other player on the team, regardless of her gender.

Ella Bruning says, “It’s cool because I don’t have to try so hard to do what they do. I can just do me and have fun and doing what I do playing the game.”

Bruning has been playing for Wylie for three years now, and both her teammates and coaches have nothing but great things to say about her play on the field, or her overall impact on the team.

Blaze Ruffin says, “I’ve been playing with Ella for two years. She’s a pretty big player to our team. She hits well, she catches great.”

Dylan Regala says, “She blocks everything and not all catchers can do that.”

“Ella is just awesome! She’s a ‘stud-ette,’ as we call her. She’s just one of the guys and I’m telling you, I mean when we play these other teams, they’re shocked how good she is,” Reggie Regala says. “She is just an awesome player and we’re just glad to have her on our team.”

Youth sports gives parents the chance to spend quality time with their kids, and luckily for Ella, her dad is one of the coaches for Wylie. Bryan Bruning says he could not be more supportive of his daughter tearing it up on the diamond.

“It’s just a blessing. I mean, just to get to spend that time with your kids developing a passion and being involved in what they’re passionate about, you can’t put a price tag on that. It’s just a priceless blessing that you don’t ever want to take for granted,” says Bryan Bruning.

Bruning and her team are just few wins away from reaching regionals in Waco, and that is something no team from Abilene has ever been able to do since the original state tournament split into the east and west districts in 2007. Ella says this team is different, and she likes their chances heading into the Texas West State Tournament.

“It’s fun because we all play as a team and we all have great attitudes, and we keep our heads up. We pick each other up, and we just have fun playing the game together,” she says.

Ella plays multiple sports, including softball. In August she is traveling to Oklahoma City for the team USA All-American Games, as part of the regional softball team from Texas.