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Bases loaded two outs, two strikes. All base runners were there without previous error or PB.

Strike three is in the dirt. Offense holds their position, catcher rolls ball back to the mound and defense starts leaving the field. As soon as the ball starts rolling, the offense starts running. Batter reaches first and all other runners move up before the defense can recover. Umpire rules pitch hit the ground.

How do you score that? I scored it a strike out, reached on a Fielder's Choice and the run was earned as there was no error (at least no scoring error).

Other comments?

By the way, this was in my daughter's 12U club softball game in the semi-finals, which we lost 3-2. This was the run that decided the game. I would swear on a stack of bibles that the catcher stepped on the plate before she rolled it back, although totally accidentally, but blue said no...
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10.13 b says:
"The official scorer shall charge a catcher with a passed ball when the catcher fails to
hold or to control a legally pitched ball that should have been held or controlled with
ordinary effort, thereby permitting a runner or runners to advance. When the third strike is a passed ball, permitting the batter to reach first base, the official scorer
shall score a strikeout and a passed ball."

So, it could be argued that the catcher didn't "control" the ball, in which case it is a passed ball, and not an earned run, nor an error on the catcher. In a game with 12 year olds, I'd be inclined to score it that way.
Not every ball that hits the dirt is a WP or PB. The key is, why did the runner(s) advance?

Here, the pitch was controlled without advance, therefore there is neither a WP nor a PB.

The runners advanced on the errant "throw" (the roll back to the mound). Score that an error on the catcher leading to all runners advancing and the inning staying alive. All runs that follow are unearned.
Thanks for the input.

In this case, the catcher clearly caught the pitch. I was sitting right behind home plate and I'm not sure there was a short hop, looked like she caught it in the air to me.

The confusion was the 12U catcher not confirming the out. She did look back, heard strike three repeated, but paused on what to do next. Personally I think during her confusion, she accidently stepped on the plate, which should've been the third out. This wasn't called. In one of those unforgettable moments, I was about to yell, "STEP ON THE PLATE" but for some reason, I didn't... In my mind, she had a foot on the plate at the time, so I thought that was it. I don't think the umpire recognized the accidental completion of the play.

It certainly wasn't a wp or pb. It was either a throwing error by the catcher (rolling the ball back to the mound) or a fielder chosing for not make a play.

It seemed unfair to rule FC because the pitcher did strike the batter out on a great pitch that was caught. The out clearly could've been made with ordinary effort, but the catcher had a brain f*rt. Normally, mental errors aren't considered scoring errors, so that line is fuzzy for me on a play like this.

I just wasn't sure how to legally score an error. The Pierzynski play results help. It was definitely a comparable play.

I wanted to score the E on me for not yelling, but I don't think E-SK is legal...

When you mentioned the AJ P. play, I remembered it. I wish I'd had that resource during the game.

Fortuntaly my book doesn't count, although I suspect it's more accurate than the official book since I ask questions like this and I'm frequently looking at the field while the ball is in play...
JMoff, you're right when you state that normally, mental errors aren't scored as errors in the book -- but there are a few exceptions to that, and this is one. This exact situation is specifically addressed in MLB rules.

10.12(a)(1) Comment: "... rolling the ball to the pitcher’s mound, mistakenly believing there to be three outs, and thereby allowing a runner or runners to advance — ...the official scorer shall charge a fielder committing such a mistake with an error."

Hope that helps.
Last edited by RPD

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