Little League Softball Team Accused of Taking a Dive

Washington allegedly bunted its way to an 8-0 loss to avoid rematch with Iowa
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2015 4:04 PM CDT
Little League Softball Team Accused of Taking a Dive

Everyone knows there's no crying in baseball. Now, it turns out there's no diving in softball. A softball team from Washington state was forced to play a penalty game after being accused of intentionally losing an earlier contest to secure an easier path to victory in the Little League Softball World Series, WHO TV reports. Because of tournament records, the only way a good Iowa team could advance was for Washington to beat—or at least score three runs against—its North Carolina opponent yesterday. But Iowa's coach tells WHO TV the Washington team rested its four best players, bunted with two strikes, and swung at balls in the dirt on the way to an 8-0 no-hit loss. He said "tears started to pile up" when the Iowa girls watching the game realized what was happening.

But justice was served when a protest filed by Iowa was upheld by Little League International, requiring Iowa and Washington to play an extra loser-out game today, the Des Moines Register reports. Iowa won that contest 3-2 and advances to the semifinals, while Washington heads home. According to a statement released by the Little League Softball World Series, Washington "did not play with the effort and spirit appropriate for any Little League game." And WHO TV reports the Little League rulebook forbids anything that "results in a travesty of the game." "It's clear to everyone that they basically threw the game," the president of Central Iowa Little League told the Register. He says Washington wanted to keep Iowa from advancing to avoid playing that team in the playoffs. (More softball stories.)

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