We've already learned about the batter in the previous tutorial.
To recap, the batter is an offensive player who stands in the batter's box and takes his turn to bat awaiting pitches thrown by the pitcher who is located on the pitcher's mound. The batter's objective first and foremost is to make contact with the pitch.
A batter-runner is the term used to describe the offensive player right after he has successfully hit the baseball and put it into play. He is considered a batter-runner until he either safely reaches base (and becomes a runner) or is put out.
Objectives of a Batter-Runner
The batter-runner's objectives are the following:
- to safely reach base
- to not get put out
- to run around the bases in order of 1st base, 2nd base, 3rd base, and home plate to score a run
Overrunning is a tactic used by batter-runners when trying to reach first base. Often, if a baseball is not hit hard, the batter is only concerned with reaching first base -- he can worry about second base and third base later.
Therefore, his running path is straight to first base. Since it is hard to stop exactly at first base when sprinting, batter-runners will often let their momentum carry through, and end up running past first base. In this process, if he touches first base before an infielder can tag or throw him out, he is safe. However, he must return to first base immediately after overrunning it, or he may be called out.
Becoming a Baserunner