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The Fastpitch Bulletin, Volume 19, Number 6 - March 5, 2019

03/05/2019, 9:45pm CST
By Bob Tomlinson

The Countdown is drawing closer and closer to the end. Just five days left and on day six, the WIAA softball season officially gets underway.

I would imagine some coaches around the state have lined up their equipment, drawn up practice plans, figured out how to do tryouts and more. I haven’t done any of that. There are still enough days left before the 11th that will allow me to get some things done around home and other places before having to figure all that stuff out. Tomorrow (Wednesday) our landscaping expert is going to be removing the snow on our varsity field. Not just the infield but the entire playing area. At least that is his plan. Last April he did that twice in three days. He simply enjoys watching his daughter, who is now a senior play fastpitch. If I had a skid steer and a daughter I enjoyed watching play I’d be there to help him out. Heck, I do have a daughter but I do not own a skid steer. I’d sure love to own one. I’d use it all the time just to dig holes and then fill them back in again or make snow piles then make them bigger just for kicks. I will keep you posted on how the3 snow removal goes at Diamond of Champions in Poynette.

The Poynette Jamboree as of today has 54 teams signed up to play games on Friday, May 3 and Saturday May 4th. We have some top notch teams coming that span the entire five-division WIAA field. We have defending Division 1 champion Sun Prairie coming in. We have defending Division 2 state champion Whitnall coming to play a couple games. Of course the defending Division 3 state champion will be there. The Division runner-up Oakfield will be here and so will state qualifier Assumption. Other noteable Division 1 schools that will be in the Jamboree include Burlington, Wilmot, Westosha Central, Oconomowoc and Stevens Point while in Division 2 in addition to Whitnall we feature Portage who was a state tourney qualifier last year. There is a long list of other tough programs in all five divisions coming in. Some teams travel a great distance to take part in the event. They enjoy coming in and playing against teams that they would never get a chance to play against and they get to be a part of an event that features more than 600 varsity players, about 45 different umpires, and enjoy some great games, great concession stand food at all the venues. This year we are we expanding the venues and will include games at Sauk Prairie High School. They have two great fields right next to each other and have lights for Friday night games. In Poynette we are looking into renting portable field lighting on our varsity and JV fields in order to get more games in that day. Portage also has one field with lights while we also have lights on one field in Arlington and one in Poynette. At the village park in Poynette we installed a drain tile system in the outfield on the larger diamond. That took place back in November. From day one through today when we checked, more than a gallon of water per minute flows out of the tile. That is 60 gallons per hour, 1440 gallons every 24 hours, 10,080 gallons per week, 40,320 gallons per month. That is a lot of ground water. It will be interesting to see how much that improves the conditions on that field which at one time was the village mill pond before the dam was blown out in the late 1940s.

The following situation would fall under Rule 7.1.2
The batter bats out of order and reaches first base. The pitcher then steps onto the pitcher’s plate and (a) drops the ball or (b) commits an illegal pitch or (c) intentionally walks the batter. The defensive team then figures out that the batter has batted out of order. What’s the Ruling?

Here is a situation and question for umpires, coaches and fans.
In the bottom of first inning there is a runner at first base and one out. The batter drops down a bunt down the first baseline and heads toward first base. The corners and pitcher charge in for the bunt and the catcher rises up and heads for the ball as well. The second sacker gets to the bag to take a throw if a throw is made. The runner at first was off on the bunt. The catcher gets to the ball first, rises up to throw but the batter-runner has reached the running lane but has both feet clearly on infield side of the foul line. The catcher waits a moment before throwing to allow the runner to get in the running lane. The runner does not ever get even one step on the foul line . The catcher throws to the second sacker covering the bag. The throw is close to the foul line and the second sacker drops the throw because she could not see past the runner. The defensive coach starts announcing that the batter-runner had not taken a single step inside the running shoot. When the coach looks around, the plate ump is standing at third base ready to make a call on the runner coming from first who had just kept on going. The field umpire explains that he had not noticed the batter-runner’s failure to be within the rules and says to the defensive coach, “You can’t really expect me to see that when I am out by second base can you?” The coach asks, “if you are watching first base and your partner is immediately sprinting to third in case there is a play there who  is responsible for watching the first thing that could be illegal on this play? If the batter-runner is out for failing to be in the running lane then the runner from first would be sent back to first. Now she’s standing on third and there is still one out.”  

What are your thoughts? How soon should the plate vacate an area where he/she can cover the running lane rule?

LAST CHANCE to REGISTER for the RISE- Wisconsin Preseason Preview!
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Here is the correct Ruling on that batting out of order play from earlier in this Bulletin. In (a), until one hand is taken off the ball fter the hands have been brought together, the pitcher is not considered to have started a pitch. Therefore, the defense may appeal batting out of order. In (b) the defense would not be permitted to appeal batting out of order because the infraction was not discovered prior to the next pitch (legal or illegal). In (c) once the umpire has granted the intentional walk, to the batter it is considered as having thrown a pitch and the defense can no longer appeal batting out of order.

That’s a wrap for today.  Tomorrow’s situation of the day will center around the DP/Flex rule.

Have a great day! If you are coach and have not filled out the team preview survey get after it.

Keep it Rising!

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