The term "strike" definitely has a broad definition. Not all strikes are over the plate, a better question may be, can 80% or more of her pitches create strikes?This quote got me to thinking about my daughter’s (15 YO) recent response to her travel ball coach when asked about her pitching strategy. Her response was “I’m not trying to throw strikes. Not in the sense of putting the ball over the white of the plate. I’m always starting in the river and working in as needed based on the ump’s zone. My goal is to have the batters swing at MY pitch and the ump to call MY strike. I like when we are home because I can watch the ump at the top of the inning and see what his zone is like so I’m prepared when I pitch in the bottom half of the first inning.”
I think that’s been a big part of her success. She’s not a flamethrower but she sure does keep batters off balance and she has the best stats and gets more K’s than the other pitchers who throw faster on her team. I think she’s evolved from being a thrower to a pitcher in this sense.
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Our preference for home or away really depended on the other pitchers this last summer. Our umps tend to set their strike zone based on the first pitcher so if she's right on the plate the zone is pretty tight and so on. At this age level (10U/12U) the better ones will adjust to prevent 4 innings of one walk after another and get the girls to actually swing the bat.