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Pitchers hitting

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,470
48
Mundelein, IL
There is all kinds of "conventional wisdom" in the game of softball. You'll often hear you should never make the first or last out at third base, that you should always bunt a runner to second with nobody out, and other such ideas. Some of them make sense, some do not.

Another common one is that you should DH for the pitcher. The reasoning is pitchers can't hit because they spend all their time working on hitting. (Or in some cases there is a fear that the pitcher will get hurt batting or running the bases and then be out of the game, perhaps even down for the season.)

Yet let's think about it for a minute. Pitching in fastpitch softball is an extremely difficult position. It requires great dedication and great concentration. Pitchers often continue to practice their craft after the field players have been sent on their way. Hmmmm. What attributes would we like in hitters? How about dedication in the off season and concentration at the plate? Get where I'm going?

Here's an extreme example. When the 2004 National team was making its run toward the Olympics, their cleanup hitter in most games was a lady named Lisa Fernandez. She was either playing third or DHing for someone, and hitting the heck out of the ball. Yet when she was in the circle, the coaching staff would have someone hit for her. One day Coach Mike Candrea stopped to think about it and realized that was just silly. He then let Lisa hit for herself when she was pitching, and she helped the team win its third Olympic gold medal.

On my own team we're seeing a microcosm of that scenario. Currently three out of the top four hitters are also my pitchers. (The fourth is an ex-pitcher, incidentally.) We'll see how it goes during the season, but those three are leading or close to leading most offensive categories. Why on earth would I want to DH for them?

I'd be interested to hear from others who let their pitchers hit, to see if they are also at the top of the stats. Maybe we're on oddity. But I don't think so. Dedication and focus are required to hit well. Good pitchers have both in abundance.

More...
 
May 7, 2008
235
0
I hated when the American League resorted to the DH rule. Many teams treat the pitcher (baseball/softball) out of fear of injury. The pitcher on my dd's team is a great hitter, but they put in a pinch runner for her because she refuses to slide :cool: for fear of injury.

Altering the nature of the game for any advantage seems ridiculous to me. I am a huge Yankee fan...I love Joba...but the Joba rules have to go. Many fans think it is elitist.

Ang
 
Jun 17, 2008
23
0
Fond du Lac, WI
Man don't even get me started on this. As a pitcher in college my coach DH for me. I hated it, I had the best bat on the team and when we were down or tied I could never help myself out. There is nothing like the feeling of watching your teammates struggle and not being able to make a difference. You just keep trudging to the mound keep girls off base and hope the next at bat will be different.

Oh man is that Frustrating.
 
May 7, 2008
235
0
Bish...

My dd is at a Nike Softball Camp this week. She is almost 13, but they moved her up to the high school bracket. She had a great hit at scrimmage today, but tomorrow she will be pitching, and therefore, not hitting.

Through presumption, I have thought the purpose of the DH was to protect the pitcher from injury. Is that right? It seems to have become a piece of leverage.

Ang
 
May 12, 2008
2,217
0
Some pitchers hit well when they are pitching. I've seen others' BA's fall off the chart when they were in the circle. Depends on that and it depends on what else you have. If my pitcher is my eighth best hitter it may not take much to have me let someone hit for her. if she is one of my middle of the order rbi hitters and she does fine in the circle and the plate at the same time, she hits. Unless of course she's my only effective pitcher and we have to come back through the loser's bracket. Then she doesn't hit and I buy her her own personal air conditioner.

Little known fact, Cat holds the record for BA, SLG% and obp at Texas. Course that was one AB and she hit a double. ;) In hs she was a good hitter and as bad as Texas stunk at hitting in those days, Amber Hall and few others excepted, I always thought I would have let her hit starting with regionals. But then Connie might have helped her with her hitting and there you go. ;)

I know if she had gotten injured Texas didn't stand a chance but you can't win if you don't score either.
 

halskinner

Banned
May 7, 2008
2,689
0
There is all kinds of "conventional wisdom" in the game of softball. You'll often hear you should never make the first or last out at third base, that you should always bunt a runner to second with nobody out, and other such ideas. Some of them make sense, some do not.

Another common one is that you should DH for the pitcher. The reasoning is pitchers can't hit because they spend all their time working on hitting. (Or in some cases there is a fear that the pitcher will get hurt batting or running the bases and then be out of the game, perhaps even down for the season.)

Yet let's think about it for a minute. Pitching in fastpitch softball is an extremely difficult position. It requires great dedication and great concentration. Pitchers often continue to practice their craft after the field players have been sent on their way. Hmmmm. What attributes would we like in hitters? How about dedication in the off season and concentration at the plate? Get where I'm going?

Here's an extreme example. When the 2004 National team was making its run toward the Olympics, their cleanup hitter in most games was a lady named Lisa Fernandez. She was either playing third or DHing for someone, and hitting the heck out of the ball. Yet when she was in the circle, the coaching staff would have someone hit for her. One day Coach Mike Candrea stopped to think about it and realized that was just silly. He then let Lisa hit for herself when she was pitching, and she helped the team win its third Olympic gold medal.

On my own team we're seeing a microcosm of that scenario. Currently three out of the top four hitters are also my pitchers. (The fourth is an ex-pitcher, incidentally.) We'll see how it goes during the season, but those three are leading or close to leading most offensive categories. Why on earth would I want to DH for them?

I'd be interested to hear from others who let their pitchers hit, to see if they are also at the top of the stats. Maybe we're on oddity. But I don't think so. Dedication and focus are required to hit well. Good pitchers have both in abundance.

More...
Got to look at the dark side of softball too Ken. There are players/teams out there that will 'take the pitcher out' if she hits and runs bases. The other pitcher might throw at the ribs or the head. She might have an accidental collision at 2nd base, or accidentally get tripped or tagged hard in the face. If the ONLY chance they have to win is to take out the other pitcher, you know there are teams out there that will suffer a player getting ejected, if that means a chance at a win. Sad but true.

In the Stockton Metro tournaments, MANY years ago, the catcher from another team grabbed my hand and yanked my pitching arm backwards trying to hurt my shoulder. After that, I NEVER walked through the line after a game, it wasn't worth it, there were guys out there that wanted to take my arm out there too.

I rarely was allowed to hit for myself, and I didnt mind at all.
 

Amy in AZ.

Super Moderator
May 7, 2008
8,508
48
Tucson
Here in Tucson, UofA's next pitching sensation is Kenzie Fowler. The rumor is, that she will also bat. Most line ups would want her with the bat in her hands, I think.

I can't think of a time when my pitching DD was ever DHed for. But, we spent a lot of time on hitting.
 
May 12, 2008
2,217
0
In the Stockton Metro tournaments, MANY years ago, the catcher from another team grabbed my hand and yanked my pitching arm backwards trying to hurt my shoulder. After that, I NEVER walked through the line after a game, it wasn't worth it, there were guys out there that wanted to take my arm out there too.

.
And the next time you pitched to that catcher?
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,470
48
Mundelein, IL
Got to look at the dark side of softball too Ken. There are players/teams out there that will 'take the pitcher out' if she hits and runs bases. The other pitcher might throw at the ribs or the head. She might have an accidental collision at 2nd base, or accidentally get tripped or tagged hard in the face. If the ONLY chance they have to win is to take out the other pitcher, you know there are teams out there that will suffer a player getting ejected, if that means a chance at a win. Sad but true.

In the Stockton Metro tournaments, MANY years ago, the catcher from another team grabbed my hand and yanked my pitching arm backwards trying to hurt my shoulder. After that, I NEVER walked through the line after a game, it wasn't worth it, there were guys out there that wanted to take my arm out there too.

I rarely was allowed to hit for myself, and I didnt mind at all.
Wow, that's nasty. So much for sports teaching sportsmanship. I can see if that's where you're playing why you wouldn't want to.

I don't think it's an issue for us, at least for 99% of the teams. Payback is always a risk too.

I'll takes hits anywhere I can get them.
 
May 9, 2008
432
0
Hartford, CT
Bish...

My dd is at a Nike Softball Camp this week. She is almost 13, but they moved her up to the high school bracket. She had a great hit at scrimmage today, but tomorrow she will be pitching, and therefore, not hitting.

Through presumption, I have thought the purpose of the DH was to protect the pitcher from injury. Is that right? It seems to have become a piece of leverage.

Ang
In our league there are no DH's. My daughter spends a great deal of time on pitching, can play 3rd, can catch a fly ball....she just CANNOT hit.
To be honest, we haven't spent as much time as we should there either...but she is also on the timid, indecisive side when hitting....fear of failure and fear of getting hit by the ball.
Just purchased Englisgbey Basic to start....

MY DD also went to the Nike camp in July, moved up to be in a group with 14/15's. Turned 12 in April. Got voted as an All Star for that group as well!
Thanks for the tip...she loved it! And it was only an hour away!
 

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