MIFFLINBURG, Pa. — The members of the Mifflinburg Little League softball team showed their heartache as the players recalled the devastating moment that followed one of the biggest triumphs of their lives.
The undefeated team was competing in the Little League World Series on Friday night in Connecticut and beat the team from Rhode Island.
Then on Sunday, league officials told them a player tested positive, and the team was out of the competition.
“I looked at my other coach, and I'm like, I don't know what to do. I don't how to handle this because they worked so hard, and it's just not fair,” said Heath Stewart, team manager.
“Vicki came into the room and said that we had to pack up our stuff because there was a positive case, and we all just broke down and started crying. It was so hard,” said Chloe Showalter, Mifflinburg catcher.
The girls said the ride home was painful, knowing just how far they went with an unblemished record to lose it this way.
“Just thinking that we did win Pennsylvania, but we wanted to go even further because we worked so hard for it,” said Anna Pachucki, Mifflinburg shortstop.
“The days we've spent outside in 90-degree weather, practicing our butts off. And then to get there and it gets taken away is hard,” said Taylor Stewart Mifflinburg pitcher.
People in Mifflinburg say their hearts go out to the girls who worked so hard to get to where they did.
Shawn Ritter of Mifflinburg is friends with the team's manager.
“I know what work they put in. Yeah, that's tough, that's a hard one,” said Ritter.
“It's a darn shame, especially if they're undefeated. They should have a chance to play. I just don't know what they can do about it,” said Karl Catherman, Mifflinburg.
Team officials say they, the players, and the players' parents will monitor for any COVID symptoms.