During yesterday’s Ole Miss/Alabama matchup, an utterly bizarre scene unfolded when one of Alabama’s hitters failed to touch home plate after her game-tying home run:
In her celebration, Bailey Hemphill leaped right over the plate and into her teammates arms. When Ole Miss realized what happened, the catcher grabbed the (new) ball and tagged her out before she made it back to home.
If you’re wondering how in the heck that counts – Allow me (to try) to explain.
Section 7.1.2 of the NCAA softball rule book deals with dead-ball appeals. In short, while that ball became dead when it went over the fence, it’s not as though everything is over. Appeals can still be made. So when the new “live” ball was replaced by the umpire, Ole Miss was technically given the opportunity to appeal the previous play – which they did by physically tagging the runner with the new live ball (they could have also tagged the base).
The runner is out after a proper appeal:
12.9.1 When she fails to touch each base (including home plate) in order when advancing or returning to a base. Either the runner or the missed base may be tagged.
So because Ole Miss used a proper appeal (7.1.2) and tagged the runner (12.9.1) before she touched home, Hemphill was correctly called out. What.A.Bummer.
So there’s your lesson, kids: Touch every base.
Oh … and Ole Miss won … by one run.