SOFT­BALL

Rich­mond-area team banned from ti­tle game

The Washington Post Sunday - - WASHINGTONPOST.COM/SPORTS - — Marissa Payne

Here’s a les­son, kids: The next time you want to gloat about beat­ing your op­po­nents on their home turf, think twice — es­pe­cially if your cho­sen method of gloat­ing is post­ing a photo of six team­mates on so­cial me­dia flip­ping the bird un­der the cap­tion, “watch out host.”

Just hours be­fore the Atlee soft­ball team from the Rich­mond area was set to play in the na­tion­ally tele­vised ti­tle game at the Ju­nior League World Se­ries in Kirk­land, Wash., on Satur­day, the team was dis­qual­i­fied.

Kevin Fountain — a spokesman for Lit­tle League International, which runs the tour­na­ment — called the Snapchat post “in­ap­pro­pri­ate” in a state­ment to the Rich­mond Times-Dis­patch, ex­plain­ing that it vi­o­lated the league’s “poli­cies re­gard­ing un­sports­man­like con­duct.”

The disqual­i­fi­ca­tion didn’t sit well with Atlee Man­ager Scott Cur­rie, who had found out about the photo shortly af­ter the team posted it fol­low­ing a 1-0 win over Kirk­land on Fri­day. Cur­rie im­me­di­ately rep­ri­manded the chil­dren, aged 12 to 14, who were in­volved be­fore de­mand­ing that they delete the post and apol­o­gize in per­son to their ri­vals.

“It’s a trav­esty for these girls,” Cur­rie told the Times-Dis­patch on Satur­day. “Yes, they screwed up, but I don’t think the pun­ish­ment fits the crime.”

Ac­cord­ing to Atlee as­sis­tant coach Chris Mardi­gian, who spoke to RVA Sports, the post came in re­tal­i­a­tion to “sev­eral in­ci­dents of ha­rass­ment” per­pe­trated by some Kirk­land team mem­bers.

The Times-Dis­patch added that a player and a coach from Kirk­land’s team were ejected af­ter be­ing caught re­lay­ing Atlee’s team sig­nals from sec­ond base to Kirk­land bat­ters.

Mak­ing mat­ters worse for Atlee, Kirk­land was cho­sen to re­place Atlee in Satur­day’s ti­tle game against a team from Poland, Ohio. Poland won, 7-1.

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