Hitting I'm not going to go over the rules for hitting, the batter's box, hitter's obstruction / interference, or any other regulation for hitting. Instead, I'm going to focus on they way we should be logging hits on GC and some common mistakes.
Make sure that we keep an accurate pitch count against each batter (FOR BOTH TEAMS, see also the Pitching section). If you fall behind and/or missed an at bat, but know she got on base with a walk, just don't log 4 balls for the walk. There's a lot of critical points to the pitch count that can affect a batter's stats, like:
Identify if the first pitch is a ball our strike.
Total pitch count against the batter. Anything over 6 pitches can affect the QAB (quality at bat).
The sequence of balls / strikes is important as well. If a batter sees 3 pitches or more after 2 strikes, it will also affect their QAB.
In the case of a third strike, did the batter swing or did they go down looking.
GC FACT: GC defines a "Quality at bats" as any one of the following; 3 pitches after 2 strikes, 6+ pitch, doubles, triples, home runs, being hit by a pitch, walk, sacrifice bunt, and sacrifice fly.
TYPES OF HITS
What is the difference between a hard hit ground ball versus a regular ground ball or a pop fly versus a fly ball? Again, these can and will affect player stats such as GB% (ground ball percent), FLB% (fly ball percent), LD% (line drive percent), and HHB (Hard hit balls). It can really help us identify the type of hitter a girl is, what she needs to improve upon, and where she should go in the line-up.
Pop Fly is hit to the infield and a fly ball is hit to the outfielder. As a general rule, if it's in the dirt it's a pop fly and if it's in the grass it's a fly ball.
Line Drives can occur in the outfield as well. If the general path is parallel to the ground but over the infielder's head, it can still count as a line drive. These will affect the HHB stat.
Hard Ground Balls are slightly more subjective than the other terms. Just be consistent, if the ball was hit with good power, on the ground, then it's a hard hit ball, even if it gets registered as an out. Also affects the HHB stat.
FIELDER'S CHOICE (FC)
This one is tricky, but we need to do a good job of logging these. Not only is there a FC category in GC, but a FC will affect AVE (batting average) and OBP (on-base percentage).
DEFINITION: A fielder's choice is the act of a fielder who handles a fair grounder using Ordinary or Reasonable Effort (ORE) chooses not to throw to first base to put out the batted runner because of another base runner. Some examples and notes:
i.e. Fielder's Choice = YES This is the obvious one. With a runner on first base the ball gets hit to the short stop. The short stop easily and cleanly fields the ball and could easily throw the batted runner out at first. Instead, the short stop decides to get the lead runner going from first to second. As soon as the short stop makes the decision to attempt to get lead runner out at second instead of the batted runner at first, this becomes a fielder's choice.
NOTE: Hitting into a FC is a bad thing. It usually results in the lead runner getting out. Because of that, even though the batted runner made it to first base safely, they are not credited with a hit... so their AVE and OBP go down.
NOTE: The out doesn't matter. So, if the short stop in the scenario above overthrows second or second drops the ball and the lead runner is safe, it's still a FC. The FC decision precedes the error so the outcome of the FC isn't the defining element... the choice the fielder made is.
i.e. Fielder's Choice = YES With a runner on second and no other base runners, the batter hits a grounder to the pitcher who plays it cleanly. The runner on second does not move because the pitcher looks the runner back to the bag. The pitcher decides to hold the ball to assure the runner stays on second. There's no attempt made to throw the ball to first or second and the batted runner is safe. As long as the pitcher had enough time to throw the batted runner out at first (given there were no other base runners), then this is a FC.
i.e. Fielder's Choice = NO With a runner on first base, the batter hits a ground ball back up the middle. The shortstop dives for the ball and saves it from going into center field. Realizing she has no time to throw out the batter-runner at first base, the shortstop tosses the ball to the second baseman covering second in an attempt to force out the runner coming from first. Assuming the official scorer agrees the shortstop could not have thrown the batter-runner out at first with ordinary or reasonable effort, this play will be scored as a base hit and not FC.
So a FC is recorded for the batted runner if the fielder decides not to throw the ball to first because of another base runner, regardless if the other base runner is thrown out or not AND if the batted runner would have been thrown out by the fielder using ordinary or reasonable effort.
DOUBLES, TRIPLES, HR
There are a couple cases that might need additional attention with XBH (Extra Base Hits). These can affect your AVE, OBP, and XBH.
i.e. Thrown Out If a batter hits an XBH, but gets thrown out at any of the extra bases, she still gets credited with a hit. How??? Let's say a batter hits a fly ball into a gap in the outfield. She attempts to stretch that hit into a triple. If she is thrown out at third, she should still get credit for a double because she did make it to second base safely. Per GC there are two plays to log. The first is "Ball in Play" - "Fly Ball" - "Double". The second is immediately after logging her double, select the batter on second and advance her to third as "Out" - "Last Play" before you log any other action. So, she gets credit for a double and her AVE and OBP go up!
i.e. Free Base If the exact same play as above occurs, but third base commits an error trying to get the batted runner out and the runner is able to score, there are two plays to log. The first is "Ball in Play" - "Fly Ball" - "Triple". The second is immediately after logging her triple, select the batter on third and advance her to home as "Safe" - "Fielding Error" or "Throwing Error" (depending on who committed the error) before you log any other action. So, she gets credit for a triple, not a home run.
i.e. NOT a Free Base A girl hits a hard ground ball up the middle. The only girl to able to play the ball with ordinary or reasonable effort is centerfield. The batted runner rounds first and looks. As the centerfielder comes in to play the ball, it hops over her glove and goes a few feet behind her. The batted runner then takes off for second and beats the throw...safe! This is a single... not a double. Per GC there are two plays to log. The first is "Ball in Play" - "Hard Ground Ball" - "Single". The second is immediately after logging her single, select the batter on first and advance her to second as "Safe" - "Fielding Error" (giving the error to center field) before you log any other action.
i.e. On the Throw There's a girl on second. The batter hits a hard ground ball between short and third and it goes into the outfield. The runner at second advances to third and decides to try and score. She beats the throw from the outfield or cut-off and is safe. At the same time, the batted runner who made it to first decides to advance to second during the play at home. The batted runner gets a single... not a double because without the extra base runner, the outfield would have thrown the ball to second preventing the batted runner advancing past first. Per GC there are three plays to log. The first is "Ball in Play" - "Hard Ground Ball" - "Single". GC will advance the runner at second to third automatically. The second is immediately after logging her single, select the runner at third and advance them home as "Safe" - "On Last Play". The third is immediately after logging the run, select the batter on first and advance her to second as "Safe" - "On Throw" before you log any other action.
NOTE: Anyone advancing a base because a fielder was throwing the ball to another fielder in either an attempt to get a different base runner out or getting the ball back into the pitching circle would get logged as "On Throw"... not a stolen base or an XBH.