Sammi Kane Kraft, Pitcher in 'Bad News Bears,' Dies at 20

Sammi Kane Kraft on set Bad News Bears - P 2012
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Sammi Kane Kraft on set Bad News Bears - P 2012

She was a passenger in a car involved in an auto accident early Tuesday morning.

Sammi Kane Kraft, who played the girl pitcher in the 2005 remake of the comedy Bad News Bears, died early Tuesday in a car accident in Los Angeles. She was 20.

Kraft was a passenger in an Audi that was on the westbound I-10 freeway at about 1:30 a.m. when it rear-ended a big-rig and was then struck by another car, the California Highway Patrol told the Los Angeles Times.

The 21-year-old driver of the Audi was treated for moderate injuries and arrested on suspicion of felony drunk driving, the CHP said.

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Kraft was 13 when she played Amanda Whurlitzer in Bad News Bears, the remake of the 1976 Paramount comedy about a manager of a misfit Little League team. Tatum O’Neal starred as Amanda opposite Walter Matthau in the original; Billy Bob Thornton coached the kids in the remake, directed by Richard Linklater.

Kraft, who could throw a 75 mph fastball, was discovered on a diamond in Los Angeles, where her family had moved from New York so she could play baseball year-round. Bad News Bears was the only film she ever appeared in.