Enforcing the rules v. impacting the game
So there I was, watching the Purdue v Michigan fastpitch softball game last weekend on the DVR. Early in the first inning, the Purdue pitcher gets called for an illegal pitch. Her stride foot landed outside the markings for the pitching lane. N
Once that happened I started taking more interest in that particular call. It seemed like she was outside the lane a lot. I know the angles can be deceiving on TV, but it seemed pretty clear that this was not a random occurence.
Later in that inning, Michigan had a runner on third and I clearly saw the Purdue pitcher land outside the lane again. No call, though. She did it several times, in fact, and didn’t get called for it.
So it makes me wonder. Have the umpires been told not to call it if it means scoring a run? Was it this particular umpire perhaps being unwilling to make a call that would affect the game?
What do you think? Should an umpire call an illegal pitch even if it means advancing a run home? Or is that going over the line? What if the pitcher is gaining a big advantage by making the ball run in too much on the hitter? And if you don’t call it does it penalize the other pitcher for pitching within the rules?
Let me know your thoughts on this. I don’t have an answer myself so I’m interested in yours. Except you spammers. You guys can take your garbage somewhere else.