The hidden ball trick is one of the great joys of baseball and softball. In a game that is often so routine, sometimes you need an elaborate ruse to remind you how fun it can be.
We see the hidden ball trick work from time to time. But we’ve never seen it used as effectively and at such an important time as the ladies from the Trine University softball team did over the weekend.
Trine, a small university in Indiana, was playing in the NCAA Super Regionals with a spot in the Division III College World Series on the line. It was the bottom of the seventh, and Trine had a two-run lead and two outs. One more out won the game and a World Series berth, but there were runners at first and second with the winning run at the plate.
What to do? Pull off a hidden ball trick for the ages. A walk-off, pick-off!
It’s OK if you feel mesmerized and want to watch that five times in a row. Happened here too.
Here’s how it went down: The pitcher intercepted the throw to second base and pretended to relay it there. The middle of the infield and outfield acted like the throw was wild and pretended to give chase. The pitcher acted upset, all while running toward the baseline between second and third. The ball was in her glove the whole time, however, so when the runner took off, it was an easy tag out.
It’s a fun play to pull off in a random game in April. It’s a bold move to try in the last inning of a championship game.
If it feels like something out of a movie, that’s not too far off. In “Little Big League,” the team pulls off an epic hidden ball pick-off to trick Ken Griffey Jr.
Big difference: That was Hollywood. This sent a team to the College World Series.
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