VAN NUYS — Seconds after watching his team escape a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth inning, Doug Nicol vacated the dugout and prepared to occupy the third-base box for the 10th inning and possibly longer.
Nicol, who served as the head coach of the East All-Star Team in the seventh annual San Fernando Valley All-Star Softball Classic on Wednesday afternoon, took several strides onto the field before being met by the three-member umpiring crew, which told him the game was over. Nicol was taken aback and briefly confused.
"I thought we were going to still be playing, but the umpires said we were only going to play nine innings," said Nicol, who is the Burroughs High coach, after his East team battled to a 3-3 tie with the West All-Star team at Birmingham High. "In the end, both teams competed hard and it's the right thing to do.