I watch and listen to a lot of baseball. And often, one of the announcers will say, "In all my years covering baseball, I have never seen that before." And usually it's some odd little play where the ball goes awry.
This isn't an odd little play. This won a highschool team the state championship. And I'm pretty sure that no one who has ever watched baseball since it was invented ever saw this.
The game is for the Montana State Softball Championship, played over the weekend between Missoula and Billings West. The score is tied 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh and last inning, with Billings West at bat. There are two outs and two strikes on the Billings West batter. If no one scores, the game goes into extra innings. The Missoula pitcher throws strike three past the batter, who swings and misses. And you can see the pitcher look pleased and ready to walk off the field and get ready for her team to come to bat.
End of regulation, going to extra innings, right?
Wrong. You've heard of game-winning home runs. Well, this is a game-winning, run-scoring strikeout. Sorry, not just game-winning, but State Championship-winning.
There's a rule in baseball that if a third strike is dropped, and there's no runner on first base, then it's a free ball, and the runner has to be thrown out at first base. The ball is dropped here...but it doesn't go very far, pretty much drops at the catcher's feel, so it's still a very easy throw to make.
Or it should be an easy throw. But it goes wild. But it still should be an easy throw for whoever picks up the errant throw -- and then throws it away again. All the while, the Billings West batter, who runs as if she is carrying a sack of potatoes, lumbers around the bases and...
Well, here's the video. As Billings West High School wins the State Championship. And that poor pitcher can't believe what is happening around her.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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