FRIDAY, MAY 1, 2009, 11:30 A.M.

Patience at the plate can pay dividends

Having sat through countless college softball games this spring and witnessing the Mead-Central Valley Greater Spokane League baseball game Thursday afternoon, I remain mystified how impatient hitters can be. Panther Cody Lunt had been brilliant for five innings against the Bears, but his relief, Kramer Kembel, was struggling in the sixth, hitting two batters in succession to force in a run. Rather than wait Kembel out, the next Bears batter took his hacks on the first pitch. Kembel got out of the inning and Mead won 7-4.

It's happened so often at the college level in softball (and in high school where batters chase the high rise ball) that it makes you wonder if hitters think it a crime to walk. At certain times in a game, working the count and accepting a base on balls is the appropriate thing to do.

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