At the Senior League Softball World Series for kids age 14 to 16
in Kalamazoo, Mich., last week, an Inverness, Fla., team
relinquished its chance at the title by forfeiting to a team
from Eloy, Ariz., because the Arizona team included five boys.
(Boys have been eligible to play Little League softball since
1996.) Inverness catcher Whitney Gelin, 15, shared her thoughts
with SI's Tim Crothers, her brother-in-law.
It didn't bother us when we got to the World Series and heard
that one of the teams had five boys. Then we saw the guys, and
they were bigger than some of our dads. Our coaches were worried
that one of the boys would knock someone's teeth out with a line
drive, so they decided not to let us play them. Some of my
teammates cried when they heard we were forfeiting. I was just
mad: I wanted to beat those boys. My sister Courtenay and I were
so disappointed that instead of going to the field with our team
to forfeit, we went to the mall to buy outfits for the awards
On Saturday the Philippine team forfeited the championship game
to Arizona, and we beat Kentucky in the third-place game. It was
sad not to play for the title, but when we flew home we were
treated like champions, with a police escort and even TV
interviews. I'm looking on the positive side. We proved we're
the best girls' team in America, and we got to miss the first
week of school.
COLOR PHOTO: RON LEIFIELD/AP (SOFTBALL)