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Old 06-21-17, 02:14 PM
thePITman thePITman is offline
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Differences in Strategy Between Softball and Baseball

I've coached baseball for a while. I understand all the mechanics, fundamentals, gameplay strategies, etc.

BUT... my wife and I are expecting our first child next month - a girl! So it's time I start paying attention to softball.

Outside of mechanics and fundamentals (I can watch instructional videos 'til I'm blue in the face), what are some of the biggest differences you see in softball compared to baseball?

For example (I'm making these up, so they could be ENTIRELY false):
1. In softball, you ALWAYS play 3rd baseman 10 feet in front of bag, regardless of batter, count, or score.
2. In softball, it is more common to hit and run than in baseball because of the advantages gained and limited risks due to difference in base distance.
3. Only steal when...
(again, just making things up)

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Old 06-22-17, 08:07 AM
SamMaydayMalone SamMaydayMalone is offline
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First off, congratulations.

Also you are right to acknowledge that fastpitch is a different game than baseball. In fact I have found it to be a much quicker pace than baseball which makes it more appealing to me.

Best thing to do is to go watch HS games, some travel ball tournaments, and get ESPN3 so you can watch all kinds of college games. You'll notice the strategy differences pretty quickly.

A few that should jump out at you:
Bunting/Slapping is more prevalent in fastpitch.
Bunt coverage will be different, you'll see girls go from first to third on a bunt.
Cuts from the outfield are different.
Don't be surprised to see the same girl pitch 3 games in one day.

Congratulations and I hop you and your daughter find the same joy in the game that my family has.
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Old 06-22-17, 10:02 AM
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Auggie Auggie is offline
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The above differences are spot on, especially the use of a single pitcher over multiple games in a tourney setting. The big ace pitcher leads to a lot of contact style play and an emphasis on speed, in softball the girls tend to use all of the batters box too and a lot never really "dig in". The speed players that flip around to the left hand side can get down the line very quickly with a running start; all fielders better be fast with the transfer of the ball from mitt to the throwing position and know where they are going with the throw. Also at the higher levels there are rarely traditional 6-4-3 type double plays to help a pitcher get out of an inning.

That being said there is growing trend in the sport to more power. The rubber was recently moved a few feet back and you have these very live bats compounded with advanced physical training that is geared to bat speed and you have more HR hitters emerging. I am surprised at how many average looking swings leave the park, primarily due to the live bats the girls use these days.
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Old 06-22-17, 09:39 PM
Andy27 Andy27 is offline
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Substitution is also completely different in softball compared to baseball.

I'd go to some high school and travel ball tournaments and watch for a weekend to try to pick it up.
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