As we prepare for the 2020 National Professional Fastpitch season, we wanted to breakdown some of our favorite lingo terms that you must know before the softball players take the field!

1. Fielder’s Choice

A fielder’s choice is a defensive play when a batter advances to the following base because the defensive player chose to make a play on another base runner.

2. Sacrifice Bunt

The sacrifice bunt occurs when the batter lays down a bunt and sacrifices the chance that they could be thrown out to advance a runner to the next base.

3. Change-Up

A change-up is known as a pitch that is thrown at a much slower velocity to the batter to try and mess up their timing. Pitchers will work change-ups into their rotation of pitches to keep batters on their toes that help prevent them from hitting the ball.

4. Earned Run Average

An earned run average is a statistic that is associated with pitchers. The number of earned runs allowed by a pitcher divided by the number of innings pitched is then multiplied by the number of innings in a game. That calculation produces the pitcher’s earned run average. 

Sidenote: An earned run is a run scored without the aid of errors by the team in the field (i.e. by hits, walks, and outs that advance base runners.)

In 2009, Jennie Finch, a legendary softball pitcher for Team USA and the Chicago Bandits posted a 1.79 ERA with a 7-2 record and two saves in 49 innings pitched and after allowing just 12 earned runs on the season.

5. Grand Slam

When the batter hits a home run while runners are occupying every base. Also referred to as a “Grand Salami!”

6. Hit-and-Run

This is a coordinated play between the batter and base runner, in which the base runner steals and the batter makes an attempt to hit the ball on the ground behind the runner.

7. Infield Fly Rule

This occurs when a fair fly ball that can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied with runners before two outs. This prevents the defensive player from intentionally dropping the ball in order to get a double play.

8. Scoring Position

When the offensive team has runners on second or third base. It’s called scoring position because a runner on second or third base has the ability to score on a single.

9. Tag Up

A runner will tag up and return to put their foot on the base when a fly ball is hit. Once the ball is caught, the runner is permitted to advance to the following base, if they desire. 

Our list of softball lingo wouldn’t be complete without these fun phrases to your arsenal.

Texas League 

A fly ball that is hit and lands just out of reach of an infielder and in front of outfielders. 

Rally Cap

The team that is losing in the 6th or 7th innings will often flip their hats or visors upside down or inside out to help spark some good juju to get them back in the game. Softball teams typically get really creative with their rally caps. They may even incorporate other items found in the dugout, such as athletic tape, water bottles, cups, softballs, etc. to add to their rally cap.


When a defensive player catches the ball at the end of their glove. The ball is typically half in/half out, resembling the look of a snowcone.

The National Pro Fastpitch is hosting its Draft Day on March 30th in Rosemount, Illinois at 8:00 pm EST. Watch the draft LIVE on Facebook. We’re excited to watch players’ dream come true as they start their next adventure with their new team!

She Plays is thrilled to announce our partnership with the National Pro Fastpitch League! This partnership will allow greater visibility and financial support for the league, and through the partnership, they will become an official fantasy league offering on the She Plays platform. We will also provide a new level of engagement for fans and followers of the well-established professional softball league.