The batter swings and misses the change-up; however, on her follow-through she contacts the ball which rolls into fair territory. Dead ball strike; runners must return. If the contact is judged intentional the batter is declared out.
Play: Runner on second base with two outs. The catcher catches a swinging third strike, but the pitch is high and inside bringing her up and behind the batter. The batter’s swing is balanced and normal (although long) which causes contact with the catcher’s mitt (not the ball) and dislodges the ball causing it to roll away from the catcher. Is the correct ruling obstruction, dropped third strike or batter interference?
Ruling: The batter is entitled to one unobstructed swing, but only until the catcher contacts the pitch so once the pitch is touched by the catcher, the batter’s opportunity to hit the ball ended. The contact therefore is not the fault of the catcher, thus eliminating obstruction. It is not a dropped third strike as the catcher was prevented from holding on to the pitch. It is not batter’s interference as the situation says her swing was normal, indicating she did nothing to hinder the catcher. It is, however, a swinging strike and since it was her third, the batter is out.