ShareThis Page

No love lost for tiebreaker

Bill Beckner Jr.
| Saturday, June 5, 2010

The rule is designed to speed up play and decide a winner promptly.

But fans at the Valley-Burrell softball game Thursday night at California (Pa.) University wished the international tiebreaker rule had never been installed.

Players and coaches agreed: Leave second base open and finish the game naturally. Why couldn't the final three innings of this instant A-K classic, this historic showdown between archrivals, be played out the same way as the other nine?

"I still hate that rule -- really hate it," said Valley coach Carol Perroz, whose Vikings won, 5-4, in 12 innings. "I am happy we won, but I never liked that rule. You want the game to be decided on the field, the way it was meant to be."

When the score is tied after nine innings, a base runner is automatically placed at second base to start each inning. The rule went into effect last year in the WPIAL. As long as the initial batter doesn't strike out, she can advance her teammate to third and set up the go-ahead run quickly.

"If we didn't have that rule, we might have played until 1 a.m.," Burrell junior outfielder Kaitlyn Sweeney said. "We didn't like that rule (in the final), but we did (when Burrell used it to win against Sto-Rox in the semifinals). It's just tough because it can go either way so quickly."

The teams showed they could create drama and excitement on their own in the ninth inning.

Claire Fisher's grounder got past Valley second baseman Allison Rayburn, allowing Tess Napierkowski and Katie Uzelac to score and make it 3-1. But Valley answered: Casey Bonk doubled and reached third on an error, then followed Kelsey Bonk home on Katrina George's sharp grounder, which made it 3-3.

"The game should be played out," Casey Bonk said. "You don't need that rule. It's almost like cheating."

In the 12th, Nina Spagnolo drove home Fisher, who started the inning on second, to make it 4-3. But Valley scored twice to win: Bonk, who began the inning at second, scored to tie it, 4-4. Nealer laid down a sacrifice bunt to move George to second; she advanced to third on a passed ball before scoring on Maureen Pallone's single to right.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me