Position at 3rd base is extremely valuable in baseball – that’s why your going to want to have one of your best infielders on that base.
And one of the things that a third baseman has to be good at, is tagging the runner at the base. It doesn’t matter how great a throw or catch they can make if they can’t tag the runner out before they get to the base.
There are two basic techniques your going to want to teach your basemen, and I usually let them choose whatever they feel most comfortable with – as long as they’re making the tag.
The sweep tag leaves more of an opening for the runner to slide through when, but also gives your baseman much more flexibility when it comes to catching bad throws – they have a much bigger catch radius than with the vertical tag.
It works as follows; the baseman will sprint back to the base, with the side of their left foot touching the base, facing the direction of the throw, ready to lunge or pivot out with their right foot, all while keeping their left in place. Once the catch is made, the basemen must sweep down across their body, making contact with whatever part of the body the runner is leading with.
The vertical tag makes it almost impossible for the runner to get to the base, but also means that a throw that is even slightly off will be much tougher to catch without sacrificing position.
The baseman will sprint back to base, putting their right foot on the right side of the base, and their left foot on the left side. Once they’ve made the catch, they will bring their right knee down, bending it across the base to block the entire bag. Keeping the left leg in tight to hide the base as well, as soon as the runner is near they will bring their glove down from a vertical position and tag the runner.
That’s all for making the tag. Don’t forget to check our Facebook page, for more free softball tips, drills, and plays!