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The Most Important Player on the Field

The player in the play, the most important player on your team at that moment!

The player in the play, the most important player on your team at that moment!

By Ken Krause

Ok, quick question for all you softball fanatics. Who is the most important player on the field? Is it the pitcher? The catcher? The shortstop with the sure hands and strong arm? The center fielder with wings on her feet? The cleanup hitter who can change a game with one swing?

Take a second to get your answer before I give you mine. Ok, are you ready? The most important player on the field is…

…whoever is in the play at the moment. It could be any of those players I listed above. Or it could be the weakest player on either team.

The reason is our sport is so conditional. In any other sport you can try to manipulate the flow of the game to take advantage of your best player. But in fastpitch softball, you’re kind of stuck.

Think about it. In basketball you can try to work the ball to Lebron James or Tamika Catchings when the game is on the line. In hockey, you want Sidney Crosby to have the puck, or Roberto Luongo in the goal. In football you’re going to hand the ball to Adrian Peterson or try to throw the ball to Calvin Johnson. And you’re preferably going to have Tom Brady or a Manning to do it.

But in softball, you have very little control. If you need a long fly ball and you have your weakest hitter at the plate you’re stuck. Sure, you can pinch hit for her, but odds are if the hitter coming in was that much better she wouldn’t be available to pinch hit. She’d be playing already.

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