SULLIVAN, MO (KTVI)-- The Sullivan Girls Softball Association Board Members estimated last year more than 300 young ladies stepped right up to the plate to participate in their spring and summer softball leagues. Now thanks to the actions of a selfish few, that number of young ladies, as well as the number of games they play, could decrease significantly.
"We have lost about three thousand dollars worth of softball equipment," League Treasurer Stacy Counts said.
During the off season, vandals cut the padlock off the storage unit containing the Sullivan Girls Softball Associations equipment.
"We opened the door, and everything was gone," said league board member Kristi Wheeler.
The SGSA supplies the equipment for free to more than 19 teams, made up of girls from ages 6-years old to 14 years old. Thanks to this burglary, the league may have to take a step backwards in player sign-ups, as well as games played this year.
"If we don't have the money," Wheeler explains, "meaning that we spend our money on getting all new equipment, we are going to have to cut back on the games we play because we have to pay the umpires. So that's where all our money goes, and it will be the cost of umpires that we cut back on."
One current umpire used to be a player in the SGSA, and cannot believe that someone would vandalize the league like this.
"What are they going to do with little girls' gear, like 6-year old cathers gear?" Harli Wheeler asked, "Bats. Small helmets. Balls. What are they going to do with it?"
Now the Sullivan Girls Softball Association is reaching out to ask for help from anybody to keep this league growing, so the 300-plus young ladies that love to play softball are not punished by the actions of criminals.
"We are just devastated by it." Counts added, "And hopefully, our community will support us like they usually do, to come around and help with donations."
"It hurts me because I love softball so much, and I love being out here," Harli said, "Teaching these kids how to play. I help them any chance I get. It's just heartbreaking."
"This is for the kids. It's not for us. It's not for the adults. It's for the kids," Kristi insisted.
The League is moving forward with registration for the summer this Saturday.
If you would like to make a donation, their website is linked below.