MIFFLINBURG, UNION COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A local little league team’s journey to the world series next month has come to a halt. The softball team was eliminated from the tournament this week after a player tested positive for COVID.
But the team is questioning the reason for that decision.
The team, parents, and entire Mifflinburg community are devastated that the Mifflinburg Little League softball team is done.
They say they understood going in if a player tested positive they were out. But, they claim CDC guidelines weren’t followed at the Eastern Regionals.
“It’s really sad we had to go down that way”
The Mifflinburg major division all star team was forced to leave the Eastern Regional Tournament on Sunday, in Connecticut, after one of their players tested positive for COVID-19.
“The team now has questions, including why they were allowed to play a game before the results came back,” said Heath Stewart, manager. “Also, that they shared a bunkhouse with another team and the bathroom. They were outside with the other teams unmasked watching games, and yeah, because of one player we’re the only team that were asked to leave.”
Shortstop Anna Pachucki says she and her teammates have been working toward this goal for the past five years.
“We’ve been working ever since we started little league. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and go further on. And just see it taken away is hard,” said Pachucki.
When questioned for comment, Little League International referred Eyewitness News to a public release sent out Sunday, saying in part, “in consultation with its medical advisors, Little League International has notified the team that it will no longer be able to participate in the tournament.”
Also on their website, it says in the event of a positive test, the committee, “will assess the team situation to identify if the team has enough players and coaches to proceed with competing in their respective tournament.”
That’s something these Mifflinburg players wish had happened.
“We should’ve got another chance, so I can make us take another test. We all came back home and we took one, and it’s all negative except for that one girl. And it will be hard, but we would pay for her if we got another chance,” said Taylor Stewart, pitcher.
The softball team is now looking to their future. They said it felt good to get back on the field Tuesday, but they still aren’t satisfied with the way the little league committee handled their situation.