50 Softball Slang Terms You Definitely Need to Know

Last updated on April 11, 2023

We all know softball is an amazing game. But it has its own unique set of slang terms that can be confusing to those who are new to the game. In this article, we’ll break down 50 of the most common softball slang terms to help you better understand the language of the diamond.

1. Ace

The team’s best pitcher, who can deliver a pitch with accuracy and speed.

2. Bag

Short for “base”, used to refer to any of the four bases on the field.

3. Batting a thousand

A player who successfully gets a hit every at bat.

4. Bunt

A soft hit where the batter holds the bat still and simply tries to make contact with the ball to direct it toward the infield.

5. Cannon

A player with a strong throwing arm, often used to describe a team’s catcher.

6. Change-up

A slower pitch with the same motion as a fastball, used to throw off the batter’s timing.

7. Chopper

A ground ball that bounces high in the air after being hit.

8. Cleanup hitter

The fourth batter in the lineup, whose job is to drive in any runners on base.

9. Dinger

A home run, where the ball is hit over the outfield fence.

10. Double play

A defensive play where two opposing players are retired with a single out.

11. Fielder’s choice

A play where a defensive player chooses to get an out on a runner instead of the batter.

12. Gap shot

A hard-hit ball that splits the outfielders and rolls to the wall, often resulting in extra bases for the batter.

13. Grand slam

A home run hit with the bases loaded, resulting in four runs.

14. Hat trick

When a batter strikes out three times in a game.

15. Hit and run

A play where the runner on base starts running when the batter makes contact with the ball.

16. Hot corner

The third base position, often because of the high number of hard-hit balls to that area.

17. Infield fly

A rule where if there are runners on first and second or first, second, and third with less than two outs, a fly ball hit in the infield is automatically ruled an out.

18. Juice

Slang for steroids or any performance-enhancing drug.

19. Knock

A base hit.

20. Line drive

A hard-hit ball that travels low and fast through the air.

21. Mendoza line

A batting average of .200 or lower, named after former Major League Baseball player Mario Mendoza.

22. Moonshot

A high, arching home run.

23. Off-speed pitch

A pitch that is slower than a fastball, usually a curveball or change-up.

24. On deck

The next batter due to hit.

25. Passed ball

A pitch that the catcher fails to catch or control, allowing the runners to advance.

26. Perfect game

A game where the pitcher allows no hits, walks, or errors by the defense.

27. Pop-up

A high fly ball that is caught in the infield.

28. RBI

Short for “Runs Batted In”, a statistic that measures how many runs a player has driven in.

29. Sacrifice bunt

A bunt where the batter purposely gives themselves up to advance a runner.

30. Screwball

A pitch that moves in the opposite direction of a curveball, often thrown by left-handed pitchers.

31. Short hop

A ground ball that bounces in front of the fielder.

32. Shutout

A pitching performance where the opposing team is unable to score any runs.

a softball player about to hit the ball

33. Slap hitter

A batter who hits the ball with a quick, short swing, often trying to hit the ball on the ground and use their speed to reach base.

34. Slider

A pitch that breaks horizontally as it approaches the plate.

35. Southpaw

A left-handed pitcher.

36. Strike zone

The area over home plate where a pitch must cross to be called a strike.

37. Suicide squeeze

A play where the runner on third base breaks for home as soon as the pitcher delivers the ball, and the batter bunts to try to score them.

38. Sweet spot

The part of the bat where a player can hit the ball with the most power and accuracy.

39. Tag up

When a runner on base waits until the ball is caught before attempting to advance.

40. Texas leaguer

A softly hit ball that lands in the shallow outfield, often resulting in a base hit.

41. Three up, three down

When the defensive team retires all three opposing batters in a half-inning without allowing any of them to reach base.

42. Triple

A base hit that allows the batter to reach third base.

43. Walk-off

A game-ending play, often a hit or home run.

44. Warning track

The strip of dirt or artificial turf beyond the outfield fence that warns fielders they are approaching the wall.

45. Wheelhouse

The part of the strike zone where a batter has the most power and accuracy.

46. Whiff

A swing and miss by a batter.

47. Wild pitch

A pitch that is thrown so poorly that the catcher is unable to catch or control it, allowing runners to advance.

48. Yakker

Slang for a curveball.

49. Pitcher’s duel

A game where both pitchers are dominating, resulting in a low-scoring game.

50. Pickle

A rundown, where a runner is caught between two bases and is repeatedly chased by fielders trying to tag them out.

A softball player sliding

Whether you’re a seasoned softball player or just starting out, understanding the slang terms used in the sport can help you communicate better with your teammates and coaches. We hope this list of softball slang terms has been helpful in expanding your knowledge of the game. So next time you hear someone talk about a “bag” or a “pickle,” you’ll know exactly what they mean!

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