What Does Pickle Mean In Softball?

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The hitter swings at the ball and ideally makes contact with it to begin a baseball run. The batter will sprint to first base if he hits the ball. He’ll be attempting to reach first base safely if he makes contact with the ball. His initial goal is to reach first base safely without being struck by the ball.

In baseball, a “pickle” is a circumstance where the batter is compelled to hit a subpar ground ball or fly ball. The defensive players are then uncertain of where the ball is going. As a result, a base runner may score more runs with a weak hit. It is well known that some runners may purposefully put themselves in this predicament in order to aid another runner’s progress on base.


How Do You Get Out Of A Pickle In Softball?

A runner on base has two options. Depending on where the ball is placed if the fielder tosses it to the infield, the baserunner must decide whether to break for second base or third base. The baserunner must decide when to slide if the fielder delivers the ball to the infield. Both when the ball-holding hand is in the air and after the fielder has finished his throw are acceptable times to slide. Both of these situations present opportunities and challenges for sliding.

To escape a pickle, the baserunner must remain inside the fictitious line separating the two bases. To avoid being tagged by a defender, they cannot retreat into the infield diamond grass, though. They must instead continue to play in the baselines while dodging the defender.


Do Baserunners Purposely Get Into A Pickle On Plays?

Baserunners will purposefully get themselves into a pickle during a high school, college, softball, or MLB game in order to advance a different runner on the basepaths. Due of its efficacy, big league players frequently practice this style of play. So how exactly would this play operate?

The World Baseball Classic in 2016 is a good example of this. The outfield’s defense deteriorated as the tournament’s defending champions, Japan, were competing. The squad failed to cover the runner who was on the bag when he was struck by a ball and was between second and third base. The runner who was on the bag when the ball was hit was now between third and home. The runner advanced to score when the third baseman failed to make the catch. The runner was eliminated from the competition at the conclusion.


How Should the Fielders Defend against a Pickle in Softball?

There should be several options for the defense to defend against the pickle.

  1. At the base, there should always be a defender waiting for a throw to apply a tag to the runner.
  2. Anyone who successfully catches the ball should advance along the base route to the base they are heading for. The baserunner’s distance can be decreased by running with the ball toward the base. It will take a toss to reach a fielder in less time if that gap is closed.
  3. Once the fielder leaves the bag to run, another player should occupy that space.
  4. In order to challenge the runner, the thrower can impersonate a throw to a base.
  5. As the fielder, you want to be in possession of the ball and make a precise tag on the baserunner.
  6. The baserunner is attempting to evade your tag, so be aware of this and place your glove in front of your body to close the gap between them and the base.
  7. If there are additional baserunners, it is up to the defense to signal if one of them is taking an excessively large lead. For instance, as the defense is attempting to get someone out between first and second base, a runner on third base can dash to home plate. If this occurs, it is the responsibility of the defense to warn the fielders so they can throw to the catcher to prevent that baserunner from scoring.



A baserunner who finds themselves in a pickle in baseball or softball is trapped between two bases. The defense is attempting to tag out the runner on the basepaths while they are between two bases. Teams continuously work on this play on offense and defense. Baseball and softball need players to prepare for getting into and out of pickles.

It’s important to note that some players purposefully put themselves in awkward situations. A player at third base may only need a few seconds to take off and try to score at home plate if they choose to stay in the pickle. The defense must keep an eye on both the runner they are trying to stop and the other runners. The defender should constantly be prepared to toss the ball to the home plate since teams rehearse this style of baserunner play.

Clark Harris

Clark Harris

"I live and breath Softball"

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