Aggressive Defensive Strategies

  • Learn how to use strategic defensive alignments to defend against bunts, slaps, steals and more
  • Learn how to train your players to attack the lead-out with multiple runners on base
  • Teach your pitchers to hit certain locations within the strike zone based on where your defense is playing
with Patty Gasso, Oklahoma University Head Coach;
2016 WCWS Champions – 3x WCWS National Champions including 2013 – the first ever WCWS champion to lead the nation in scoring and ERA;
Distinguished member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Hall of Fame (2012);
2016 Big 12 Coach of the Year – the 9th time she has won the award, which includes five straight honors (2012-16);
12x Big 12 Champions (8 regular season and four tournament titles); 2012 WCWS Runners-up; Over 1,100 career victoriesAs Patty Gasso says and many coaches would agree, defense wins championships. In this DVD, Coach Gasso explores the aggressive defensive mindset, strategies, and drills that have helped her Oklahoma Sooners win two NCAA National Championships. She begins with bunt and slap defense, moves on to defending the steal, covers first and third situations, and touches on relays.

Bunt and slap defense
The defense can better prepare itself if it knows what to expect from the offense. Coach Gasso begins her presentation by explaining the different defensive approaches she uses with a runner at first base, a common bunting scenario. Coach Gasso explains how her team handles bunt defense, and has her defense demonstrate coverage. She also delves into defending against slappers and bunt coverage with multiple runners on base, situations that place pressure on the defense to execute.

With one or more runners on base, many offenses will choose to challenge the catcher by stealing to advance runners, rather than give the defense an out with a bunt. Coach Gasso shows how to neutralize the steal, using good communication between the fielders and different steal coverage. A steal attempt requires the defense to be quick and accurate, so knowing how to anticipate steals and position the defense accordingly is critical.

Double plays
Coach Gasso believes in an aggressive style of defense with fielders playing to get the lead out when runners are on base. This opens up the door for double plays. Coach Gasso and her team demonstrate turning double plays from all positions on the field. A defense that can convert a double play when there are runners on base has a better chance at getting out of the situation without giving up a run.

First and third situations
First and third situations put pressure on a defense to execute as players must make quick decisions and accurate throws. Even though first and third situations don’t happen very often, Coach Gasso places special emphasis on them. If these situations aren’t handled correctly, the offense can score without the batter ever touching the ball. She has six options for defensive plays that she runs against a first and third situation. Gasso has her defense demonstrate the plays, and offers advice on when to use each option.

A good relay will get the ball from the outfield to the infield quickly, preventing an offense from advancing and scoring. Coach Gasso’s team demonstrates different ways to handle relays depending on where the ball is hit, and offers advice on how to set up the cut-offs.

Although offense is becoming a focal point of the game of softball, a good defense can help neutralize an opponent’s powerful offense. If an opponent can’t score on your team, they can’t beat you. Coach Gasso shows you how to keep an opponent’s offense at bay by creating an airtight defense. The results will show in the win column.