ok… so i am watching the NCAA super regional softball tournaments. What do I see… an infield fly ball. This happens all the time right? YES. but softball fly ball errors happen regularly as well when …. the ball almost, or does fall to the ground between the shortstop, the second baseman and the pitcher. In this case, the pitcher steps back towards the catcher looking at the middle infielders. The right thing to do. Then the middle infielders freeze and watch the ball. AAAAAAARRRGGGG!!!! .. then at the last minute the second base player just catches it in a last option basket catch and the out is made.
Why does this not have to happen you ask? There is a simple option. The order of priority rule I call it. There is a fly ball order of priority that starts with the center fielder. Then of course as we know the left and right fielders have priority over the middle infielders who have priority over the corners who have priority over the catcher. The pitcher only comes in if the fly ball is within the pitchers circle.
On a fly ball between middle infielders and outfielders the outfielders need to know that they have priority so to go all out for the ball The middle infielders do NOT charge out after the ball as we often see unless the outfielder calls for help which needs to be done early. So often the outfielder will hold up because the middle infielder has charged out.
Now back to the infielders. That ball that needlessly dropped would have been fielded easily if the shortstop knew that she was the one who had priority and there would be no question. The reason is because the shortstop is generally right handed so the ball is closer to her fielding side. Same thing for behind second base. If the shortstop is a lefty then make the decision who will have priority and make sure you stick with it.
Now that you have this information. When you are watching the game watch what happens on those OMG fly balls when no one knows who is going to get it. You will see then why this is one of my biggest pet peeves in the game.
We need to make things as easy as we can on the field and the less decisions that have to be made the less errors there will be.