KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Karen Weekly held held her weekly press conference and expressed displeasure over the Lady Vols first loss of the season to Cal on Friday.
But it wasn’t her teams play Weekly took issue with; instead, it was an issue with the rules.
Cal pitcher Katie Sutherland-Finch clearly had a three-inch flap attached to the front of her shoe. Softball pitchers are required to keep their toe on the ground while delivering a pitch, and according to Weekly, Sutherland-Finch had been called for several illegal pitches for failing to maintain that contact.
“That same pitcher who threw against us, hadn’t made it through an inning the week before because of all the illegal pitches called against her,” Weekly said in reference to Sutherland-Finch.
“In our game [Sutherland-Finch] showed up with some kind of a flap attached to her shoe which stuck out three inches from her toe,” Weekly continued.
The Lady Vols protested the flap, but to no avail.
Weekly even spoke to someone she referred to as the “National Rules Coordinator” during the game.
“We got her on the phone, and she approved it. We still don’t think it’s legal,” said Weekly.
She even joked that if adding a flap to a pitchers shoes becomes legal she might consider a career change, “Maybe I should quit my job and open a company manufacturing pitcher toe flaps because in the future someone is going to make a lot of money if we’re going to make a mockery of the game like that.”
The Lady Vols lost the game 1-0, and have now lost three straight, but Weekly didn’t blame the loss on any advantage Cal had in the circle. “Is that the reason she beat us?” Weekly said. “I don’t think so, it gives you an advantage, but she got beat in other games. We didn’t do a good job of adjusting.”
Tennessee’s game on Tuesday was cancelled due to weather. The Lady Vols are schedule to host the Tennessee Classic beginning Friday and are scheduled to play Murray State at 3:00 p.m.