Philosophy: Our team is made up of exceptional athletes with good mobility and speed. Thus, one of our advantages over other teams will be employing a speed related offensive approach that puts pressure on both the catcher and the other fielders. In Oxford Hills, against one of the top catchers in the state, we saw how effective the running approach can be. Yes, the first runner was thrown out attempting to steal, then we pressured the Oxford Hills catcher to rush her throws or mishandle pitches in her attempt to get a quick release because a number of our runners got exceptional jumps timing their departure from the base with the pitcher’s release. In the end of the contest we only managed one hit yet we scored six runs.
We also have to have the mindset to take the extra base when reasonable. Yes, we will run into some outs, but we will create many more scoring opportunities due to our team speed. Aggressive base running has to be a team mindset not just the responsibility of a player or two. One of our most useful tools in enhancing our ability to put pressure on the defense is bunting. Every player in the line-up needs to be a competent bunter. When defenses use the third base defender to charge bunts with a runner on first our approach will be for the runner on first to take third base on the executed bunt. At times you may see us employ the same approach with a runner on second, in other words, runners with exceptional speed can score from second on an executed bunt.
Skills to Master:
The runners jump– Leave the base when the pitcher’s ball hand is at its highest point in the windmill portion of her windup. The ensuing rotation of her arm speed is so fast that you will not be detected leaving the base too soon. Otherwise if you wait until you see the release point of the ball from the pitcher’s hand your jump from the base is too late. Do not look to see where the ball is; sprint to the next base with the understanding to slide if the play is a steal or to run through the base to the next base if the bunt is employed.