Illness sidelines Kent County softball team in World Series

 

ROXANA – Only a few stray clouds floated in the sky around the Pyle Center during opening Sunday at the Big League Softball World Series, none of them threatening rain.

Yet those who made the trip to see the scheduled rematch of last year’s title game between defending champion District I Kent County and host District III Sussex County arrived only to find it had been postponed.

Representing the U.S. East for the second time in as many years at the weeklong tournament in Roxana, District I’s players began complaining of stomach aches just hours before Sunday’s scheduled first pitch.

Eventually eight of the 13 girls on the District I roster, as well as two coaches, reported they were ill and possibly unable to play, forcing tournament staff to contact Little League headquarters in Williamsport, Pa., for a solution said World Series Coordinator Martin Donovan.

As a result, Sunday’s Pool A game was rescheduled for Wednesday, 5:30 p.m. Because both teams were already scheduled to play games on Wednesday, they will now have doubleheaders.

Although rescheduling games isn’t ideal, the biggest concern for World Series staff is making sure the virus doesn’t spread to other teams, Donovan said.

“The concern now is, if they are sick we don’t want them at the hotel,” Donovan said. “We have a quarantine room, but we’re sending them home since it’s Milford.”

“They have to bring something back now to validate the sickness, it’s not just ‘ok we’re sick,’” Donovan added.

Validation of an illness will need to come quickly, as District I is scheduled to play Latin America Monday at 8 p.m. If it is not acquired before then, tournament staff will need to again contact Little League headquarters for a ruling.

“If a doctor can’t give them an excuse or a hospital can’t give them an excuse that yes they have a stomach virus, it would be my guess,” Donovan said when asked if the team could have to forfeit games. “It’s not food poisoning. Talking to medical people here, it’s a virus.”

Senior League

U.S. East (Bristol, Pa.) 9, Dist. III 2: Prior to the postponed Big League game, the District III host Senior League all-stars fell in their pool play opener 9-2.

Brooke Ward singled to lead off the top of the third inning and later scored on Brooke Stoeckel’s RBI base hit to left to give District III (Millsboro-Georgetown) a 1-0 lead, but the East plated six runs in the home half of the frame and cruised from there.

Jeff Mitchell covers sports for southern Delaware. You can reach him at jmitchell@newszap.com

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