Softball can be a heated sport. One minute girls are are cheering each other on and high-fiving one another. The next they’re beaning umpires on purpose or kicking catchers at home plate. Yeah, vicious.
A lot rides on youth and high school softball games these days. Girls are trying to get noticed by colleges and earn scholarships to play at the next level. Who can blame them?
Coaches know this. That’s why they full-on blow up on umpires and get tossed from the field.
Softball Coach Ejected After Pickle Call
The first time I learned what a pickle was in softball or baseball was in the movie The Sandlot. The premise is simple: a runner gets caught in between two bases as fielders try to tag them out.
One way to escape is to outrun the throw. Another is to hope a fielder drops the ball.
The unheralded way? Obstruction.
That’s what happens in the clip above. Emily Burrow of the SoCal Firecrackers 18U team hits a ground ball to third base. The throw gets loose from the first baseman. She then takes off and gets in a pickle between first and second.
Burrow winds up running into the first baseman while she doesn’t have the ball. That’s obstruction by definition because she’s impeding the runner without possession of the ball.
So the runner should be called safe, right?
Not in the eyes of the umpire standing two freakin’ feet away from the action. He called her out without hesitation.
Her coach then comes out from the dugout to plead his case. He mouths off a bit and is tossed by the home plate umpire. Meanwhile, the rest of the people tend to the girl who face-planted into a fielder.
In my opinion, the umpires are in the wrong. I don’t know what that coach said, but he probably called them dumb as nails for missing this obvious call. The runner should’ve been awarded second for obstruction.