The Ole Ball Game

1st and 2nd no out and also 1 out. Best play available.

by Pete H.

Pete asked: I play second in a men's softball league and played catcher in hs, so it's been a while.

With a man on 1st and 2nd, no out, ball hit to 2nd. Is my first option the lead runner?

My thinking is go for the lead runner bc turning two in softball is difficult.

The same question applies with one out and my conclusion would be the same, get the out and the lead runner. Get the out and don't worry about turning two. Ur thoughts?

Rick answered: Pete, thank you for your question.

There are a few things to consider in making your decision.

1. Speed of the runner at second

2. Speed of the runner at home plate

3. Game situation, inning, and score

Those all come prior to the ball being hit.

Depending on how hard and where the ball is hit, all that is subject to change.

If the ball takes you either left or right, third base is not really an option.

A ball hit to your left, you may get 2, or you may get the force at second, or you may only have the option of 1B.

A ball hit to your right, you may get 2; but should certainly get the force at second.

The third base option works if you get a ball hard hit right at you, or a ball hit slower right at you that you can charge and still make that throw; but you are looking at just one out.

A hard hit ground ball gives you the opportunity to turn 2, always worth the shot. If there's one out, you're out of the inning.

If there are no outs, you have 2 outs and a runner on third.

The infield rule of thumb for the decision is, go where the ball takes you.

With that as your approach, there is no second guessing, it becomes reaction to what you see.

Yours in baseball,


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May 23, 2015
by: pete

Thanks for the response. After reading your response my mantra when men are on first and second is,"go where the ball takes you" and as a result I have been thinking less and reacting more. Great teaching advice. Thanks again.

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