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Want to score more runs this year? If so, offensive softball play strategies need to be a big part of your team offense. Some coaches like to sit back and do very little other than swinging away, sacrifice bunting, and an occasional steal.  

But unless you are filled with college prospects I don’t recommend this approach.

Instead, do things to put pressure on your opponent's defense. Force the defense to always be on their toes and always wondering what your team may do next.

This is a much more exciting way to play the game and when done well leads to more runs!  But you DO need to know how to teach aggressive baserunning in order to execute these plays!

In this weeks video tip I scratch the surface of offensive options with two of my favorite plays.

Click the videos below to watch and listen to each tutorial. And then read the description below the videos for more details!

Softball Offensive Play Strategy #1: Fake Bunt & Steal of 3rd

The fake bunt and steal is one of those plays that is very difficult to defend when it’s executed properly and in the right situation.

Watch the video below to learn some of the key aspects for execution.

 

Once again, here are the important elements of this offensive play for fastpitch softball:

  1. The runner on second base is going on the pitch and stealing no matter what!  She has to depend on the hitter to execute her part correctly.
  2. The hitter is going to show a fake bunt when the pitch is about half way to the plate (no later than this or it probably won’t work).
  3. The hitter CAN pull back at the last second to avoid taking a strike on a bad pitch. But she must wait until the LAST possible second to do this or again the play will likely fail.
  4. As a coach, you need to look at the shortstops positioning and her alertness. Is she hyper-aware of the runner on second or is she not paying much attention to her? Also, is she playing more towards second or third? You want to be reasonably confident that the runner can beat her in a footrace to third.
  5. A couple other things to factor in: Is the catcher aware of the runner? Does the shortstop seem like she will be able to make the catch on the run if she is covering third base?

The defense has to do a lot of things RIGHT in order to defend this play. It puts a lot of pressure on the catcher and the shortstop to make a play very quickly.

Softball Offensive Play Strategy #2: Angle-Down Play

Below is another play to put a lot of pressure on the defense. 

This is a play that I first heard Alabama coach Pat Murphy talk about at a clinic years ago. And we have been using it ever since. 

This is a great way of "scratching across" runs that you wouldn't otherwise score!  

The video is a bit longer and more in-depth, but be sure to watch it to the end.

To recap, here are the key components of this softball offensive play strategy:

  1. This is used with less than two outs & a runner on 3rd base.
  2. The runner goes on contact on any hit that is on a downward angle.
  3. If the play is close, the runner goes in hard to try and score.
  4. If she is out by a lot of steps, she gets into a run-down. She stays in the run-down for as long as possible in order allow the other runners to advance.
  5. If the ball is hit back to the pitcher, the runner at 3rd holds (unless the coach decides otherwise...it's your call).

So that's it!  Two plays that can help you score more runs this year! Just be sure to spend time practicing these situations so the players know how to execute each one properly. 

And then add each offensive play to your softball playbook today!  You won’t regret it!

(By Tim Covey, Founder of Covey Sports)

Have questions or comments? Leave them in the comments section below!


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