Rulebook shows umpire made correct call in controversial softball game



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Posted on May 14, 2012 at 10:55 PM

Updated Monday, May 14 at 10:55 PM

Plano East beat Flower Mound in a softball game Saturday, but the game's end has had people talking ever since the game ended.

A Flower Mound player came around third and was racing in to beat the tag at home plate. She gets past the glove of the catcher and reaches out for home base as the umpire signals safe.

The Flower Mound girls cheer and celebrate, but the umpire remains focused on home plate.

Karen Kalhoefer, the Plano East coach, noticed the ump and told her catcher to tag the runner. At that point, the ump calls the baserunner out, which meant the game was not over.

The umpire ruled the runner missed tagging home plate, so why the safe call initially?

Believe it or not, the umpire did everything according to the rulebook.

The national high school rulebook says, "If no tag is made, the umpire should declare the runner safe. If a proper appeal play is made by the fielder, by either touching the runner or the plate with the ball prior to the runner touching the plate, the umpire should then declare the runner out."

In similar situations, Major League Baseball umpires make no call. The national federation said they advocate the safe call so as not to tip off either team that the play may not be over.

However even Kalhoefer said afterwards that the rules should probably be a no call.

Making a bad situation worse for Flower Mound: replay clearly shows the runner touched the plate in the first place.