on the third strike the catcher drops the ball and first is un occupied, the batter I know is allowed and encouraged to run to first, I know she is not given first she has the chance of making it though. now my question is, if first is occupied and is at the time of the third strike that is dropped trying to steal. can the batter still run to first because the runner has left the base for second? is is first still classified occupied tilll the runner trying to steal actually gets second? any help on this would help me.
Can't steal first unless there are 2 outs. So even if the runner on first is attempting a steal to 2nd they are still considered on first thus the batter cannot take first again unless there are 2 outs then they can.
Legally you can't ( steal first ) on a dropped 3rd strike unless there are 2 outs, but, the batter could run to 1st to confuse the other team. If they threw to 1st she is already out but the runner that was originally on 1st is now on 2nd, it happened to my team and we threw to 1st. My team learned that the hard way.
To properly interpret the phrase "when first base is occupied," append "at the time of the pitch" in your mind. It does not matter if the runner at first is stealing. For the purpose of this rule, she occupies first if that's where she was when the pitch was released. If there are two outs, status of a runner on first base doesn't matter, for the purpose of this rule.
Also keep in mind: if the pitch bounces and then goes cleanly into the catcher's mit or hand, that is still considered "uncaught," and the batter may attempt to reach first under the provisions of this rule.
The uncaught third strike rule puts a lot of pressure on teams -- especially catchers -- to know the rule, know the situation, and keep your head when everyone starts screaming bogus instructions to the batter, the catcher and the base runner.
One variation that even MLB players occasionally forget: Two outs, bases loaded on an uncaught third strike it's a force at home, so don't throw to first and risk an error that could score two or three runs.