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Roberts may have set national record

By Staff
Charles Prince, Hartselle Enquirer
Danville junior softball player Kristy Roberts may have set a national record for consecutive stolen bases without being caught.
Roberts came into the 2004 season with 84 straight stolen bases without being caught. According to Rod Gillott, assistant Danville softball coach, Roberts stole 52 straight bases this season. That is 136 consecutive attempts without being caught, a new national record. The current national record is 131 straight.
The record will become official if the Alabama High School Athletic Association, as well as the National High School Federation, approves it.
One opposing coach thinks his team stopped the streak. Roberts, by her own admission, was picked off base at Vinemont High on March 4.
After leading off the game with a walk Roberts was on first as the next pitch was thrown. Vinemont softball coach Lance Lay describes the action from there.
"After the pitch she took off for second," Lay said. "She took two or three steps and
stumbled and fell down. She got up at that point and tried to go back to first base, but we tagged her out before she could make it back."
Roberts gives a different version of the play.
"I took two steps off the bag and turned to look at the catcher," Roberts said. "I was just messing with the catcher to see if she would make a mistake. My intention was not to steal second base."
Gillott said the play was recorded in the Danville score book as a pick off. Lay said the play was recorded in the Vinemont book as caught stealing. Who scored the play correctly?
The pick off play may count as a caught stealing according to Alan Mitchell, Assistant Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Association.
"One of the instances in which a base runner is considered caught stealing," Mitchell said, "is when the runner is picked off a base after attempting to advance.
"Taking two steps toward second base is attempting to advance and she would be caught stealing on that play and thus the streak is over."
Marshall Aday, the Northwest Director of Softball Officials for the AHSAA, agreed with Mitchell's view of the play.
"Leaving the base is an attempt to advance," Aday said.
John Gillis, the editor of the record book for the National High School Federation, stated that the national federation would not recognize any record at the national level that is not accepted at the state level.
"The final say rests with the state associations, " Gillis said. "We would not add a record to the national record book that had not been approved at the state level first."
Gillott stated that he has contacted The Birmingham News and the NHFS and was assured that the play was a pick off that would not affect the status of the streak.

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