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Thread: Pitching to a Lefty slapper

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    Checking out the clubhouse dmasterson's Avatar
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    Default Pitching to a Lefty slapper

    We are playing a team soon with several Lefty slappers in the lineup. Thought it might be good discussion (and maybe help us out) as to best way to pitch to them. I have seen some coaches start to bust them inside but I also see righty pitchers struggle doing this for some reason and end up hitting the batter for a free pass (HBP). What are your thoughts or experience?

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    Sitting on a Bucket IR a Pitching Dad's Avatar
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    DD has always tried to go low and away with a screwball with some success.

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    13th Step Softball Addict coach james's Avatar
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    Ive had the most success throwing high and inside. Either a rise or curve.
    The slappers typically want to hit it down into the 5/6 hole... by staying high and tight, they're unable to do this and the hit usually results in a right side pop up. Throw the first 2 or 3 pitches high and tight, let them start to adjust, then finish them off with that low and away screw
    "The only difference between average and exceptional, is the attention to detail applied to the task... Don't practice mistakes." James Clark

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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball quincy's Avatar
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    Can they hit or only slap?

    If only slapper keep ball up in zone.

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    I can talk softball all day murphdog's Avatar
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    My lefty hates to be pitched outside. Give her a inside pitch and it’s to the fence but she struggles with outside pitching. But she’s a hitter who sometimes slaps and bunts.

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    JAD
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    Mix your pitches with some screwballs away, then bust them inside with a curve or drop curve. A lot of slappers tend to peel towards 1B as they are coming through the box, which makes them susceptible to pitches on the outside corner.
    "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times" ~Bruce Lee

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    I can talk softball all day KPower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quincy View Post
    Can they hit or only slap?

    If only slapper keep ball up in zone.
    This is the key. 90 lb DD slaps (soft, hard and power) and bunts a lot...but she can also hit deep. In the last 2 weekends she has hit the fence 2x and had a one hopper over. She loves it when the defense *thinks* they know what she is going to do. Her hitting coach works hard to make sure she can adjust to different pitches.

    When DD could only slap she hated high and inside, she has always been able to hit the low and outside. Now if someone decides to pitch her high and inside she will give the ball a ride. So yes - important to know if they only slap or can hit too.

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    Certified softball maniac canyonjoe's Avatar
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    The mistake is assuming they are all the same. You need to observe them like any other hitter and see where they might have holes.

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    Softball Junkie Hillhouse's Avatar
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    Do you want to play percentages or gamble? Does your pitcher have a good drop (with command) or even a dreaded "fastball"? Is this a GOOD slapper (someone going onto the next level) or mediocre that can just beat out whatever she hits?

    I speak to you now from a pitcher's perspective and how I pitched to slappers in my own career. Take that for whatever value you put on it. To me, throwing a "screwball" which is usually nothing more than someone stepping left and throwing right is playing right into her hands... if she's good. What is a slapper trying to do?? Answer: hit to opposite field and beat out the throw. So a "screwball" plays right into that. Why the heck would I want to put the ball exactly where the slapper wants it???????????? That's like saying PLEASE HIT ME IN THE HOLE OR TO SHORTSTOP SO I CAN BEAT THE THROW. Moreover, slappers usually have good bat control and hand eye coordination to hit the ball while moving. Anything rising INTO their field of vision is easier to hit than something dropping out of their field of vision. So they are MORE LIKELY to put bat to ball on a riseball than a drop. And bat to ball for a good slapper is just trying to pop it over the infields' head if they can. So, play to their weakness... down and in. This will likely mean she pulls the low ball on the ground to 2nd base for the easy throw over to 1st. No, it's not a guarantee for success but it is percentages. My argument for throwing down and in is no different than the other's who suggest up and away, or up and in, or "screwball"..... we are all blind to how good the pitcher is and how good the slapper is. So anyone's advise might work. I am telling you how I personally pitched to a slapper (who where usually pretty darn good). But, the one rule I'd follow no matter who's advise you follow... I do not throw change ups to slappers until I get 2 strikes. Good slappers will bunt the change if they recognize it early enough. But with 2 strikes bunting becomes less of an option.

    Bill

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    My favorite pitch to slappers is an offspeed drop down in the zone. Just enough speed difference from the fastball to mess with timing and with some down action to move away from their bat. Yes, dropballs are easy to get on top of, which is the slappers goal, but with the offspeed their timing is off, so they can't place the ball well. My 3rd baseman can get to more balls and make plays when the timing is poor.

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