Here’s the scenario: ACC softball tournament semi-final game, North Carolina leads 1-0, with Florida State batting in the bottom of the first. There is one out and a speedy FSU runner named Tiffani Brown at first. The next FSU batter, left-hander Maddie O’Brien (one of the best hitters in the country) rockets a one-hopper to UNC first baseman Jenna Kelly.
Because Kelly was so close to the bag, she elected to take the sure out at first base. The Fox Sports “announcers” said that Kelly should have tried to nail Tiffani Brown at second, instead of touching first. They said Brown is “extremely fast” and would score easily from second on a single.
True. But if Kelly threw the ball to second without touching first, then Brown would have been safe at second because, as Fox Sports had just said, she is “extremely fast.” This would have created a first and second one out scenario, instead of two outs and a runner at second. The next FSU batter Kelly Hensley lined a double to left, with the “extremely fast” Brown scoring to tie the game at 1. However, had UNC’s Jenna Kelly not recorded the 2nd out at first, FSU would have scored even more runs. As it out turned out, the next FSU batter Victoria East grounded out for the third out.
Moral of the story? Jenna Kelly was right, and Fox Sports was wrong — again.