Softball Positions Explained

Softball positions include both infield and outfield players. In some instances, nine players assume active duty. Some games require a ten-player team. Let's wind up and take a swing at each position and its responsibilities.

Infield Stations
Six players occupy the infield.

  1. The pitcher pitches from the pitcher's mound, located in the center of the diamond. In fastpitch, the pitcher utilizes a windmill motion and releases the ball when it is next to her hip. Once the ball leaves her hand, the pitcher prepares to field any grounders or pop flies hit up the middle of the field.
  2. The catcher establishes her area behind home plate. She gets quite a workout since she sits in a semi-crouched position when on defense. Her primary job is to catch the pitches thrown by the pitcher and make plays at home plate.
  3. The first baseman stands just left of first base and is one of the most demanding defensive positions. She makes fielding plays on balls hit toward this base, backs up throws to home plate and holds the runner on first base. Essentially, the first baseman is involved in nearly every play occurring on the field.
  4. The second baseman positions herself in the gap, or the area between the second base bag and the first baseman. She is considered a pivot position. The second basemen receives relays from the outfield and attempts to make outs at second base.
  5. The shortstop's location is between the second and third baseline. Because of the large playing area covered, the shortstop is the most commanding player. She makes plays at second base, along with the second baseman. Many of her plays will be forces or double plays. Quick and agile, the shortstop reacts quickly to each play.
  6. The third baseman plays just left of third base in what is considered the "hot corner." Her responsibility is to receive throws from fielders and make outs at third base. The third baseman requires strong mentality due to the types of hits she will encounter.

Outfield Softball Positions
Either three or four outfielders position themselves in the grassy outfield. The duties for each are the same: retrieve and catch fly balls, line drives, and ground balls hit into the outfield. Outfielders need strong throwing arms

Remember to call for fly balls and back up teammates if you are assigned to one of these softball positions.

  1. The left fielder stands in left field, down the third base line. She is responsible for the left foul line play.
  2. The center fielder positions herself in the center of the outfield. If a right-center fielder plays, the center fielder shifts toward the left.
  3. The right-center fielder stands between center and right field. Some leagues do not use this player.
  4. The right fielder is located in the right section of the outfield and handles plays along the right foul line.

Knowing each player's responsibilities and putting some time in at the batting cage will help keep the game moving smoothly.

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