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By “rabbits” I mean your girls with the most speed. If you want to maximize your ability to score runs and put pressure on the defense, then having fast players that can run the bases well is a huge factor!
Usually my 9, 1, and 2 hitters will be three of my fastest. Oftentimes these will be my slappers.
The softball players at the top of the batting order should also have the higher batting averages on your team.
The biggest thing to avoid is putting your slowest softball players in the lineup just ahead of your fastest player!
This is why the #9 slot is so important. For example, you might have a girl with good speed who is not as consistent of a hitter. In that case, the #9 slot may be the perfect place for her.
This prevents a slow player from clogging up the bases in front of your leadoff hitter with great speed. When that happens it minimizes your ability to put pressure on the defense.
Sometimes people think the #9 hitter should always be your weakest hitter. However, the #9 hitter will oftentimes jumpstart a rally. And when she is fast she can be a huge weapon in front of your leadoff hitter.
For this reason, it can be wise to have a #9 hitter that is a more consistent hitter than your #7 or #8 hitters…simply because she is fast.
The “bottom line” is that if you can group your speed together then where they are in the order isn’t the most critical component…the critical component is simply that they ARE grouped together.
Some coaches will use bunting ability as the one factor for deciding whom to make the #2 hitter in their softball lineup.
While it is wise to consider her ability to bunt, it is not the only factor that should be considered. It will give your offense a big lift when the #2 hitter is also a consistent hitter.
It will help your offense tremendously if you are confident that your #2 hitter can get on base at any point in the game. While it is a huge plus for her to be an effective bunter (when needed), it is also important that she can keep a rally going (or start one) with her hitting.
If you put a player at #2 that can only bunt, it can be a momentum killer in those moments that you need her to swing the bat.
The other issue with this is that with a weak #2 hitter, you are creating a potential scenario where a team could easily pitch around your leadoff hitter in order to pitch to a much weaker #2 hitter. And this is never a good thing.
How to fill out your softball lineup card or scorebook effectively is an inexact science. What works one day may not work the next. It takes a mindset of flexibility and fluidity in order to fit the pieces together “right.”
However, when you group speed together, and find the right player for the #2 spot in your order, you can increase your teams ability to score more runs.
If you found this post on how to make a fastpitch softball lineup & batting order helpful, you may also want to read about the offensive system called pick-proof software and how it can change your offense in minutes!
(By Tim Covey, Founder of Covey Sports)
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