FHS loses protest bid, game to Falconer

Fredonia’s protest of its Section 6 Class B softball quarterfinal game against Falconer has been denied.

“The protest has been denied and Falconer will be moving on,” Section 6 softball chairman Jay Hall said.

The play in question happened in the top of the sixth inning. With the bases loaded and no outs, Falconer’s Kaylei Russell hit a pop fly to Fredonia shortstop Mekenna Leid. The base umpire signaled for the infield fly rule to be called, but did not make the call verbally.

Leid dropped the ball and Molly Arrance raced home with the Lady Golden Falcons’ third run of the game.

“If the home plate umpire didn’t know the base umpire had called the infield fly, he would have called the girl out at home on a force out,” Hall added.

The infield fly is called when the offensive team has runners on first and second, or the bases loaded, with fewer than two outs and a fly ball is hit in the infield that a play can be made on with normal effort by a fielder.

The call during Tuesday’s game was correct, it was how it was made that upset Fredonia head coach Joe Pucciarelli.

“If I’m umpiring, I’m calling that right away,” Pucciarelli said after the game. “I mean (Leid) turned her back on it because the infield was up at the time. I thought it was the right call, but I think it still has to be a verbal call.

“In high school, you’ve got to be demonstrative a little bit,” Pucciarelli added. “You’ve got to let the kids know. You have to.”

Pucciarelli was understandably upset with the decision Wednesday.

“It was a correctable error,” Pucciarelli said. “That’s one where if you don’t call it, you can go back and (correct it) but (the umpires) didn’t do it.

“It’s unfortunate that (the umpires) couldn’t get together right there and then and correct it,” Pucciarelli added. “And they could have corrected it right there.”