When the star pitcher for one California high school team ran over the opposing first baseman in a monumental playoff game, she was ejected for what the umpire deemed “malicious contact.”
The controversial call left her on the bench at a pivotal time and forced her to miss a game.
Softball Star Ejected For “Malicious Contact”
Ava Justman, a star pitcher who was 20-2 in the circle for Chatsworth High School in Los Angeles, was ejected after running over a first baseman, who drifted into the foul line fielding a ground ball.
According to the Los Angeles Daily News, the umpire didn’t hesitate to eject Justman after she made contact with San Pedro High School infielder Brianna Ventura. He even called it “malicious contact.”
Generally, runners have the right to their base path. Leaving that path can warrant being called out.
“I’ve always been taught to run through,” Justman told the Daily News. “It was never my intention to knock her over. I respect San Pedro, they’re a great team.
“When I found out I was ejected, I cried. But I quickly realized I needed to be a good teammate, so I cheered from the dugout.”Advertisement
That, my friends, is pure class.
The umpire’s decision stood for whatever reason.
Justman was forced to root for her team the rest of the game from the dugout. The ejection also meant she missed her team’s following game in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) City Section Open Division semifinals.
The result? Chatsworth lost 5-0 without Justman and was knocked out.
In my opinion, Chatworth High should have appealed the decision. The umpire’s bogus call left this star pitcher in tears and made her miss an important game.
I mean, where was Justman supposed to go in that situation?
Justman told the LA Times that she committed to Wisconsin and plans on becoming an FBI agent after her career. Maybe her first investigation should be against that umpire.