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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #1 
In one of our fall games, a third strike was called by the home plate umpire, with no outs and a runner on third.  The batter took off for first base, in case the ball hit the ground (as many girls are being trained to do now).  My catcher thought she caught the ball, and so threw the ball back to the pitcher.  The third base coach starts yelling, "Run, run."  I called to the home plate umpire: "Well, is she out or not?"  The umpire didn't say anything.  Just had that dazed look.
So here's the situation my girls now found themselves in:  A girl who they think is out is running to first.  The umpires are giving no guidance as to whether they think a dropped-third has occurred or not.  So the girls can make a probably needless throw to first, allowing the runner on third a chance to score on the throw.  Or they can hold the ball, keeping the runner at third, but giving the batter first, if it is later ruled that the ball hit the ground.
In our game, I had our girls hold the ball (as I saw a clear catch).  The opposing coach had her batter stay on first.  The umpires still said nothing, and the next batter came out to hit.  Before a pitch was thrown, I asked the home plate umpire, "Did you call a dropped third?  Did you see the ball hit the ground?"  He said, "No, I didn't see it hit the ground."  He then asked the field umpire if he saw it differently.  The field umpire said, "I saw it hit the ground."  So the batter was allowed to stay on first.
So how should this situation have actually played out?  It's certainly unfair to have the fielding team have to decide on where to throw the ball, if at all, without some call from the umpire.  What if the batter is "thrown out at first", even though the ball is ruled later to have been caught, and the run scores on the needless throw.  Thoughts?

Posts: 145
Reply with quote  #2 
Coach Rick:

The umpire will call strike 3.  If he also signals out, then the batter is out.  If he calls strike 3 and makes no out declaration, either verbal or by hand, then you should throw the ball to first base and get the runner out.  If the umpire makes no gesture as to an out, you must assume he thought the ball was dropped.  He must call strike 3 AND make an out declaration in order for the batter to be out.

Coach Ron

Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #3 
keep in mind it is not the umpire's job to coach the players. They have to react to the play at hand, if the players reaction is the wrong choice at the time that is part of the game.
We have all seen a case where an umpire is assuming a play will occur and begin or make his safe out call only to find that the result of the play wasn't what was anticipated.  So in the same sense the players shouldn't assume the Umpire is going to make a call one way or the other.

larry peabody
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