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how to pitch to a slugger?

Mar 11, 2009
431
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My DD team might have to play a team in tourney at 10u that hits over the fence homeruns, but always swings for the fence. How should our pitcher approach her??? She can throw fastball, changeup(not always for strikes but speed difference is good with good arm speed) and a drop that starts low in the zone and stays down. The last time we played her it went like this(my DD didn't have a changeup):
DD throws 1st pitch fastball by her for a swing and miss strike, 2nd pitch throws another fastball that the girl fouls to opposite side, 3rd pitch DD throws her hardest fastball she fouls straight back, 4th pitch another fastball and girl hits it to right center for an in the park homerun....Thanks
TM
 

halskinner

Banned
May 7, 2008
2,695
0
You know how fast her fastest pitch is.

You know how slow her slowest change up is.

Now, work on learning speed control and come up with an 'off-speed' pitch that is halfway between fastest and slowest. Also, work on making the wind up look like a fastball coming for all three release speeds. Then, never throw 2 pitches in a row at the same speed.

When you constantly change speeds between three speeds and the wind up looks the same for all three, the batters have no other choice than to watch the ball travel from the pitcher's hand to determine exactly how fast THIS pitch is coming. THAT TAKES TIME THEY AINT GOT AND THEY WILL PERFORM POORLY!

Younger batters CANNOT deal with 3 different speeds, the older ones have major difficulty too.

Batters can be taught to deal with two speeds easily enough, NOT THREE, that is something they CANNOT be taught to deal with.

Winning Fast Pitch Softball
 
May 7, 2008
8,489
0
Tucson
I would think she should spend a lot of time getting a change up that she can throw anytime she wants to. It should have been her 3rd pitch thrown.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,744
38
Dallas, Texas
I agree with Hal and Amy. Also, your pitcher has to have control. This is kind of tough for a 10 YOA kid to do, but:

She needs to learn the umpire's strike zone fast. That means she has and her catcher need to watch every pitch when she is pitching AND when her team is batting. She should try to "chart" what the umpire is calling a strike. An umpire's strike zone is rarely a rectangle, it is usually fan shaped. Then, she wants to pitch on the edge of the umpire's strike zone. Nothing down the middle.

Ultimately, the battle is over how many times in a row she can throw a pitch on the edge of the strike zone. Changing speeds coupled with keeping the ball on the edge of the zone usually works.

Additionally, in your description of her pitching, she never threw a ball. Was this simply a misstatement? Or does she literally throw strike after strike after strike? The general plan is to get a strike early. When a pitcher gets up 0-2 on a batter, then the pitcher should try to get the batter to chase a bad pitch at least twice. Otherwise, she isn't pitching, but throwing batting practice.

Ray
 
Mar 11, 2009
431
0
ttt

sluggers, your right she didn't throw a ball. She went right at the pitcher. But we are learning as we go. From now on, when she gets ahead in the count, she will work off the plate. This next off season we are really going to work on control and me as a pitching coach working on what pitches to call for her...
TM
 
Nov 6, 2008
71
0
TM,

Another aspect of pitch calling that you may want to consider if you have not already is working inside. This may sound simple but it is a neglected strategy that is often not taken advantage of. The success of college pitchers in CWS in recent years using the screwball as a major componant of their arsenal shows just how effective throwing in can be. Baseball has always used this strategy - work hard in and down and/or soft away. I have seen this work when I was coaching in high level travel softball, and used it successfully last year in high school softball where we used two pitchers that did not throw over 55 mph but could hit spots. About 50% of the pitches thrown were inside, depending on the batter. Using this strategy they had a combined era of .9 and BA against of .160. You will get many pulled foul balls, many pop-ups off the handle, and your share of strikeouts off the plate outside. Occassionally an inside pitch will get too much of the plate and a girl will turn on the pitch, but not as often as you would think. We had two home runs to left field in 52 games last year. Throwing a screwball inside is of course preferable to a fastball inside, but at your DD's level, if she will hit her spot inside with a fastball, this will set up her outside fastball and change, both on the corner and off the plate. TM,

Best of luck,
Steve
 
Mar 11, 2009
431
0
TM,

Another aspect of pitch calling that you may want to consider if you have not already is working inside. This may sound simple but it is a neglected strategy that is often not taken advantage of. The success of college pitchers in CWS in recent years using the screwball as a major componant of their arsenal shows just how effective throwing in can be. Baseball has always used this strategy - work hard in and down and/or soft away. I have seen this work when I was coaching in high level travel softball, and used it successfully last year in high school softball where we used two pitchers that did not throw over 55 mph but could hit spots. About 50% of the pitches thrown were inside, depending on the batter. Using this strategy they had a combined era of .9 and BA against of .160. You will get many pulled foul balls, many pop-ups off the handle, and your share of strikeouts off the plate outside. Occassionally an inside pitch will get too much of the plate and a girl will turn on the pitch, but not as often as you would think. We had two home runs to left field in 52 games last year. Throwing a screwball inside is of course preferable to a fastball inside, but at your DD's level, if she will hit her spot inside with a fastball, this will set up her outside fastball and change, both on the corner and off the plate. TM,

Best of luck,
Steve
Steve, thanks for the advice. That is something we will work on this summer. Everybody on this site is very helpful.
Thomas
 

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