MONTGOMERY – The North and South teams split the annual double-header Tuesday at the AHSAA All-Star Softball Series in Montgomery. After the South got a 4-3 win in the first game, the North responded with a 1-0 victory that was cut short due to lightening in the top of the fifth inning. With the split, the North own a 23-10-3 record in the all-time series.
Elissa Brown’s two-run double to centerfield gave the South a walk-off victory in the opener. The winning hit came of North pitcher Bailey Murphy, who had just given her team a 3-2 lead with a two-run homerun to right field in the top of the sixth.
The South got a baserunner in the bottom of the seventh when Davidson’s Sara Lowther reached on a throwing error to lead off the frame. Leroy’s Brittney Minor doubled to put runners at second and third with no outs. After Murphy recorded back-to-back strikeouts, Brown came to the plate and battled to a 3-2 count. She connected on a ball that went just left of center for the game-winner.
Murphy finished the first game 2-for-2 at the plate with a single to go along with her homer. She was named MVP for the North.
The South had a 2-0 lead after plating single runs in the bottom of the first and fourth innings. The North finally broke through with a run in the top of the fifth. Wilson’s Madison Daniel led off the inning with a single. She reached second on a sacrifice bunt, then scored when Pisgah’s Hannahstaysia Weaver singled to the pitcher. The South first baseman muffed the throw, allowing Daniel to score and cut the lead to 2-1.
The score stayed the same until Murphy’s two-run homer. Brown was named MVP for the South. The Elmore County standout was 3-for-3 at the plate with two RBI and two runs scored.
In the second game, Florence standout Ellison Barrett gave the North a 1-0 lead with a single up the middle in the bottom of the fourth inning. It would prove to be the only score of the game, which featured a 1:18 minute lightening delay in the second inning. With the North holding the one-run lead in the top of the fifth, another lightning strike prompted officials to call the game.
Several area players participated in the action. Barrett finished the day 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI. She also pitched two innings without yielding a hit. Daniel was also 1-for-2 on the day.
West Morgan’s Sydney Sanders also saw action, along with Hartselle’s Hope Cain and Athens’ Makayley Cain.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (July 7, 2015) – Rules changes for the 2016 baseball and softball seasons were made at rules committee meetings last month in Indianapolis. Those changes were subsequently approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Board of Directors.
Beginning with the 2016 season, umpires will be required to issue a warning to coaches before restriction to the bench/dugout or ejecting them as part of a new penalty progression to promote preventive officiating.
The revision to Rule 3-3-1 Penalty was one of two changes recommended by the NFHS Baseball Rules Committee at its June 7-9 meeting.
Previously, issuing a warning to an offending coach was optional for umpires, who will now restrict to the bench/dugout or eject coaches who commit a violation after previously being warned for a minor offense. However, coaches can still be ejected on a first offense if it is deemed to be major.
Also part of the modification to Rule 3-3-1 Penalty, coaches who receive a written warning (Rule 10-2-3) will be restricted to the bench and/or dugout for the remainder of the game.
“The new rule change has initiated a penalty progression, starting with a written warning, restriction to the bench/dugout and subsequent ejection from the contest,” said Elliot Hopkins, NFHS director of sports and student services and liaison to the Baseball Rules Committee.
The changes to Rule 3-3-1 Penalty will help to de-escalate contentious situations and allow coaches to dictate their status in the game by their behavior, Hopkins said.
“A successful game official practices preventive officiating, and this new penalty progression will allow the official to issue penalties that give the coach the opportunity to remain in the game and teach his players.”
The other change approved by the Baseball Rules Committee is an addition to Rule 3-3-1. Article “q” will state that a coach, player, substitute, attendant or other bench personnel shall not “have any physical contact, spitting, kicking of dirt or any other physical action directed toward an umpire.” The addition of article “q” serves to clarify other behaviors that would result in an ejection from the game, Hopkins said.
“Bad behavior that is being imitated from other levels has no place in education-based athletics and will not be tolerated,” Hopkins said. “If we are to continue to use sport to teach life lessons, then we have to ensure that appropriate behavior and conduct are modeled from those adults in the role of coach/teacher.”
In addition to the two rules changes, the Baseball Rules Committee approved three Points of Emphasis for the 2016 season. Points of emphasis are developed by NFHS rules committees and should receive special focus and attention by officials, coaches, players, fans and other leaders within the high school setting.
Points of Emphasis developed by the Baseball Rules Committee for the 2016 season are as follows:
In softball, one rule change was recommended by the NFHS Softball Rules Committee at its June 15-17 meeting. In the new Article 4 of Rule 2-57, the committee provided a standard definition of a “projected” substitute.
Rule 3-3-3 prohibits the use of a projected substitute, which is now defined in the new article as “a player who does not immediately participate in the game.”
“There has been some confusion among both officials and coaches about substitution procedure,” said Theresia Wynns, NFHS director of sports and officials education and liaison to the Softball Rules Committee. “Therefore, the committee felt it was necessary to clear up that process and provide coaches and officials with a standard definition of a projected substitute.”
The following Points of Emphasis were approved by the Softball Rules Committee:
According to the NFHS Athletics Participation Survey, baseball is the fourth-most popular sport for boys at the high school level with 482,629 participants in 15,789 schools. Fast-pitch softball is the fifth-most popular sport for girls with 364,297 participants in 15,225 schools during the 2013-14 season.