Go Slater, Iowa Little League Softball!
I may never root for an Iowa team as much as I will today. (UPDATE! They won 3-2 over the team that tried to cheat them out of a spot, but then lost in the semifinals to Rhode Island.)
So, the Little League World series is going on. Everyone knows about the baseball in Williamsburg, Pennsylvania. Not everyone knows there's a softball version too.
The Midwest champion in the Little League softball World Series is the Central Iowa All-Stars, from Slater, a small town in between Ames and Des Moines just west of 35. They were in a group with a team from the Seattle area (West) and a North Carolina team (Southeast). The top two teams would advance.
Central Iowa -- who had lost to West by one run when they played earlier -- won their game yesterday. West played Southeast right after that, and for some reason they didn't want to face Slater again.
How much so? They sat starters, they bunted a lot more than you see in softball, and the few times they didn't bunt they were ordered to swing at pitches in the dirt.........they lost 8-0 to the North Carolina team.
That loss caused there to be a three-way tie between Midwest, West, and Southeast.....and the Central Iowa girls would be out thanks to a tiebreaker. The people at the Little League World Series (played in picturesque Portland, Oregon) seemed to be cool with all of this.
But Central Iowa protested to Little League International -- this is the equivalent of having to ask "where's the manager?" in a store or restaurant -- and won the protest, kind of.
The Seattle area team could have been disqualified under Little League Softball Tournament Rules, Section one, article P:
When a manager or coach instructs his/her players to play poorly for any reason, such
as, but not limited to the following, such action may result in the manager’s removal
by the Umpire-in-Chief, and/or removal of the manager, coach(es) and/or team from
further tournament play.
There are an alarming number of pages in the rulebook dedicated to making sure the adults behave, FYI.
The result of the appeal will be an awkward game at 11 this morning Central time between the Central Iowa team and the West champion from Washington. Yeah, that won't be awkward at all. Get the girls some Starbucks though, that's a 9:00 start time in Portland. Winner moves on.