Laurel softball team left ‘heartbroken’ after disqualification from regionals
LAUREL, Del. – “They worked so hard for this and to have it pulled out at the last minute away from them it’s difficult,” said Laurel Little League Majors Softball Team Assistant Coach, Buddy Lynch.
13 girls with a dream of playing in the Little League Major Regionals in Connecticut and a chance to go to nationals, are now faced with a harsh reality.
“He told us and I just wanted to cry right there,” said one teammate Kiersten Passwaters.
The night before leaving for regionals, the State Champion Laurel Little League Majors Softball Team got some devastating news. Their team was being disqualified after The Little League International Tournament Committee found that one of their players lived outside of the laurel district boundary.
“We had everything packed, we were about to get everything ready, “said Passwaters.
“Just to know that we worked as hard as we did to win this, it’s just very upsetting to know that we got disqualified,” said another teammate Erika Johnson.
But 47 ABC was told that teammate had been playing with the league for years and the issue never came up before.
“She’s been playing with us since she was four, and she went last year with us and they never said anything,” said Passwaters.
“That’s where I’m really struggling, is how the little league approved her one year and not the next,” Lynch said.
But despite the heartbreaking news, this team is still rallying behind one another, and are letting their resilient spirits shine through.
“We know she felt responsible for it. She said I’m sorry guys for whatever I did and we all were just like it’s not your fault,” said Johnson.
“I think that’s why it’s so devastating. You give blood, sweat, and tears and you do everything right. I mean everything. You walk on the field with integrity, respect,” said Shockley.
In a statement from the Little League they say because of the disqualification, a team from Newark is playing in regionals instead, and that the decision of the Little League International Tournament Committee is final and binding.