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Coach attemtping steals in the last inning when the team is losing....

Jul 29, 2016
115
28
My daughter has just ended a travel season with a team that had lots of talent, but also had lots of issues. One pet peeve of mine I saw over and over again - the coach attempting steals at the end of the game (or tournament) when the tying run wasn't even on deck.

This is 16U. I saw this scenario several times: we're playing a game that is a must-win (deep in bracket play where you're win or go home) and we're down by two or more runs. Two outs (!) and runner gets to first. Then the coach sends her to steal second. Then he sends her to steal third.

Yes - this runner is now in position to score on a base-hit or a ball that gets past the catcher, but why are you giving the other team two chances to get out of the game with a throw-down?

It makes slightly more sense with one out, but I saw this exact fact-pattern at least once this past season where we needed 5 runs. 5 runs! You can't win this game without a bunch of base-runners, and why are you risking outs to advance a runner that does not matter one bit to the outcome of the game (and tournament)?

But I'm open to other perspectives. Prove me wrong.
 
Mar 28, 2014
277
43
You're not wrong. Dumb in-game strategy is quite common these days and yes it is stupid to steal when you are down by 2 in the last inning. I saw our coach sac bunting runners to 2nd while down by 2 or more runs in the last inning numerous times this past season. Duhhhhh!

So many of these coaches have no clue.
 

pattar

Clueless..
Jun 8, 2016
3,576
113
Yes I know this all too well along with 3rd base coaches taking chances at sending a runner to third base with no or two outs....this happened 4 times in 1 game this spring..4!! Last thing which drives me nuts, which is even worse than trying to steal, is sacrifice bunting late in the game when you are down by 2 or more runs....GRRRR!!

Some coaches are stuck in the 8U softball world it appears..
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,924
83
Dallas, Texas
Stealing 2B is different than stealing 3B.

How fast is the base runner? How good is the catcher? How good are the SS and 2B?

I've had a couple of girls who almost never got caught. If there is a mismatch between my runner and their catcher, then I'm taking 2B. An aggressive runner at 2B can sometimes force the SS and 3B into mistakes.

I won a tourney one time by bunting in the bottom of the 7th with two outs (and two strikes). Game was tied. I had my fastest, smartest runner at 3B. I had my best bunter at the plate. 1B and 3B moved behind the bags. It was too easy.
 
Last edited:
Mar 28, 2014
277
43
I won a tourney one time by bunting in the bottom of the 7th with two outs (and two strikes). Game was tied. I had my fastest, smartest runner at 3B. I had my best bunter at the plate. 1B and 3B moved behind the bags. It was too easy.
You got lucky. Very lucky.
 
Jun 12, 2015
3,774
63
I love aggressive base running. I like how it puts pressure on the defense. But that doesn't mean it's always the greatest idea in every situation. Depends on the base runner too. We've had some very heads up base runners, and also some very...well, not. You don't send the latter. The former? Maybe so.
 
Apr 28, 2019
718
43
My daughter has just ended a travel season with a team that had lots of talent, but also had lots of issues. One pet peeve of mine I saw over and over again - the coach attempting steals at the end of the game (or tournament) when the tying run wasn't even on deck.

This is 16U. I saw this scenario several times: we're playing a game that is a must-win (deep in bracket play where you're win or go home) and we're down by two or more runs. Two outs (!) and runner gets to first. Then the coach sends her to steal second. Then he sends her to steal third.

Yes - this runner is now in position to score on a base-hit or a ball that gets past the catcher, but why are you giving the other team two chances to get out of the game with a throw-down?

It makes slightly more sense with one out, but I saw this exact fact-pattern at least once this past season where we needed 5 runs. 5 runs! You can't win this game without a bunch of base-runners, and why are you risking outs to advance a runner that does not matter one bit to the outcome of the game (and tournament)?

But I'm open to other perspectives. Prove me wrong.
Sounds like desperation to me. You need to get runners on and advance them in order to come back. With 2 outs you gotta be cautious because you don’t want to run yourself into the final out.
Maybe the coach figured the opposing catcher wasn’t that good and decided to roll the dice.
Even so you want to aggressive and smart not desperate and foolish.
 
Jun 7, 2019
119
28
Stealing 2B is different than stealing 3B.
Agreed!

I won a tourney one time by bunting in the bottom of the 7th with two outs (and two strikes). Game was tied. I had my fastest, smartest runner at 3B. I had my best bunter at the plate. 1B and 3B moved behind the bags. It was too easy.
Well, moving their corners back behind the bags does help a lot. I mean no disrespect, but if she was your best bunter, how'd she get 2 strikes on her in a "must get it down" situation?
 
Jun 4, 2019
31
18
Doing things when people aren’t expecting them can be a successful coaching strategy. Maybe that’s why the coach does it?

My teams arent blessed with great speed, so not something I’d do.
 

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