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Defensive strategies and tactics

This is an excerpt from Complete Guide to Slowpitch Softball by Rainer Martens & Julie Martens.

Triple, No One on Base

Hit: Deep fly ball to left field landing just inside the foul line and rolling to the fence. It looks to be a triple. LF is in pursuit as illustrated in figure 8.4.


Defensive goal
: Hold B to a triple and relay the ball to H.

Fielding the ball: LF is alone in fielding a ball near the foul line. The only throw from this position is to the relay player.

Relay: SS is the relay person, coming out to about the 150-foot (45 m) mark or halfway between the ball and home, and, of course, in line between the ball and home. C lets SS know what to do with the relay throw:

1. Cut and throw to 3B.

2. Cut and throw to H.

3. Cut and hold, running the ball back into the infield.

P positions him- or herself to be the cutoff player, positioned in line with SS and home and about 50 feet (15 m) out from home, as shown in figure 8.4. If B tries to go home, then SS throws home through P. C tells P what to do with the throw:

1. Don’t cut; let it come through.

2. Cut and relay to home (because the throw is off line or weak).

3. Cut and throw to 3B (because B rounded 3B but on the strength of the throw stopped and is trying to return to 3B).

Other defensive positions: 1BP backs up H, 2BP covers 2B in case B retreats, and 3BP goes to 3B.

Hits to other locations: If the ball is hit to center field or the right side, the relay to H is essentially the same, except that 2BP becomes the relay person for balls hit to the right side and SS covers 2B.

Learn more about Complete Guide to Slowpitch Softball.