Softball pitching – when movement fools the umpire
Had a kind of frustrating day today at our fastpitch softball tournament. Actually the first two games went well. But in the third game we ran into a bit of a problem pitching/umpire-wise. I’m curious to hear if others have had the same issue.
Our pitcher, who is also one of my students, was really moving the ball tonight. I couldn’t see it from the dugout, but I got that report from my catcher and some of the parents behind the plate. They said she was really on.
Yet she struggled, because the umpire we had apparently couldn’t deal with left-right movement in particular. She throws a curve ball and screwball that actually break, a drop that can actually drop. But despite crossing the plate, they were being called balls. It got so bad she had little choice but to throw fatties, and started getting hit. Her catcher was frustrated too — so much so she asked me to call the pitches because she couldn’t figure out what the umpire wanted.
Of course, from the dugout all I knew was balls and hits. I eventually had to take her out and put in another pitcher. It wasn’t until after the game that I learned how well she had actually pitched.
She was frustrated too. But I guess it’s a compliment, really. She was moving the ball so well she was fooling the umpire. Not saying there’s a direct comparison, but I wonder if Cat Osterman ever had the same problem when she was 14?