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Fastpitch Tip: Intentional Walks

Your softball team is playing the most important conference or tournament game of the year. Your opposition has runners on the bases. The situation calls for you to intentionally walk the opposing hitter.

You yell from the dugout to your pitcher on the mound to "put her on." Your pitcher and catcher look puzzled but attempt to execute the intentional walk with you shouting instructions from the dugout.

Your battery botches the intentional walk when one of the pitches goes back to the screen. The winning run scores from third base and your team's dreams of a championship fade.

Is it your pitcher's fault or your catcher's fault? As a collegiate head softball coach, I have seen that play botched numerous times over the course of the past five years. I am amazed that the opposition always appears to be attempting the intentional walk for the first time.

Coach, it is your responsibility to properly teach your battery the correct mechanics in executing the intentional walk. It should be a part of your pitching sessions during the entire year. When the situation arises during a game, you want your battery to feel confident of its ability to execute the intentional walk. As a coach, you never want your team to encounter a situation in a game that you have not prepared for in practice.