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Pitching strategy help against 'power slap hitters'

May 22, 2009
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I am currently playing at high school level in CA and will be pitching against a team consisting mostly of leftie and rightie 'power slap hitters'. They run or take a fews steps into each pitch and try not only to touch the ball but also to drive with some power. So i wanna know what is the best pitching approach to face power slap hitters, slap hitters or hitters that run or take steps into each pitch.

I have a good rise and dropball. A good curve that i can alter into a rise curve. A change up with good arm speed and back up 4 seam and 2 seam fastballs. The 2 seam fastball acts like a 'cutter' and cuts slightly in to lefties. Control is good, location is not too bad and speed is around low to mid 50s.

I've been told to pitch low and away or high for them to chase. Also to change speeds to throw off their timing. So i'm rather confused as to how i should pitch to them at the moment. I'm not looking to strike them out but to force weak hits out of them although i wouldn't mind strike outs. Experts, please shed some light. Thanks in advance.
 
May 12, 2008
2,217
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If the lefties are pulling off toward first, low and away is good. Rise in and rise curve and curve on the inside black or more at the knees or hands is good. If you had a drop curve, that works too. Cutter in might work. I wouldn't throw the change to a power slapper unless her run up was crazy early and fast. If I REALLY love my very quick defense, I don't mind throwing the change to pure slappers who aren't crazy fast.
 
Nov 6, 2008
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Inexperienced slappers tend to drift towards first too early- pitch them away, screw, drop or spot your fastball if all else fails. I am assuming that you are right handed.

This strategy will not work against a skilled, experienced slapper-they are looking outside to drive the ball to the left side. Jam them inside to hopefully cause them to hit weakly off the handle to the right side where the defense has a better chance to throw them out. If it is necessary to go outside during the count to a skilled slapper, use something off speed including a change up.
 
Mar 2, 2009
311
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Suffolk, VA
all good advice and especially the changeup when slapper is TOO aggressive.
I like to live INSIDE on slappers because slappers SEE balls better away from them, so I don't agree with pitching away to experienced slappers. Try and know what pitches to throw is have a coach watch her back foot cross over... if it is pointing to 1B side, then YES - she is pulling away from the outside pitch and will have trouble reaching a low-away (SAME as a batter whose hip flies open too soon). ---- If her back foot toe points toward 3B side - JAM her inside, if she crosses over w/ her toe pointing STRAIGHT - she gives herself the best chance to handle BOTH sides of the plate.ay

*** Key is experienced slappers are looking for an away pitch to either hit down -soft-slap or away-high to hard-slap based on what defense and pitch gives them, THESE type batters - I'd stay LOW-IN on. and DON'T throw a flat-pitch breaking ball inside to the slapper, unless your ball is truly breaking as flat pitches that don't break are so much easier to hit!

Hard-slap is even harder to hit the INSIDE pitch, jams their hands, and a soft-slapper that gets LOW-INSIDE tend to over-run the pitch and especially have trouble placing the ball to the SS side.
** Now HERE is the strategy... a good slapper MAY be a good drag bunter and if a left-handed slapper can drop a drag bunt down the line, she's going to give you havic, so maybe the HIGH-IN is your best option, harder to drop a bunt on a high pitch and if a riseball INSIDE and she is hard-slapping, she very well may jam her hands, then again you can get burnt on a hard hit ball to your RF, but you can ONLY pitch to your best odds.
 

halskinner

Banned
May 7, 2008
2,695
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"change speeds to throw off their timing."

You can wrap it all up in a nutshell and you just did.

They are all a little different except for one thing; THEY MUST HAVE YOUR TIMING DOWN PAT. Take away the hitters ability to time your motions and you take away their ability to slap hit, PERIOD.

My book teaches you LOTS of ways to do that. Simply throwing a change up now and then is NOT enough or it would work well for you right now.

Ever have a hitter run out of reach before the ball gets close, it's hilarious. :)

WINNING FAST PITCH SOFTBALL
 
Aug 21, 2008
848
28
From experience I can tell you that GOOD slap hitters will bunt the change up. Once they realize they've been fooled by the speed, they will bunt the change. Remember, there is a difference between changing up and changing speeds.

It's true that inexperienced slappers will pull out quicker to the firstbase side. And that SOMETIMES makes them easier targets for 'outside' pitches. But if you miss with your spot/pitch location (even by just a little) then you are playing right into the slapper's hands by throwing the ball where they want it. Riseballs are easier to hit as the ball is coming UP into their field of vision vs. dropping out of the field of vision.

Playing percentages, which is what this game is about... I throw down and in. Trying to get them to pull it to 2nd base.
 
Mar 2, 2009
311
0
Suffolk, VA
Hillhouse.... We've been pretty successful throwing aggresive slappers the changeup. I agree with you that if you throw a few in ONE at-bat, any batter has a better chance to beat you, but 1 every once in a while keeps them off balance.
I think a 2 strike change-up, especially for slappers with 2 strikes, has their momentum pulling them out of the box too far ahead of the ball and also a threat of contact when their foot lands outside the box, makes a changeup a viable pitch.

I like low-in also , unless I know the slapper can/might hard-slap, then I want to jam her.
BOTTOM LINE.. some pitches work sometimes, sometimes they don't! Makes coaching teh game fun!
 
May 12, 2008
2,217
0
"change speeds to throw off their timing."

You can wrap it all up in a nutshell and you just did.

They are all a little different except for one thing; THEY MUST HAVE YOUR TIMING DOWN PAT. Take away the hitters ability to time your motions and you take away their ability to slap hit, PERIOD.
If their run up is too aggressive. If they also slap for power and they can count on a change in an AB, they will look for that.
 
May 12, 2008
2,217
0
From experience I can tell you that GOOD slap hitters will bunt the change up. Once they realize they've been fooled by the speed, they will bunt the change. Remember, there is a difference between changing up and changing speeds.

It's true that inexperienced slappers will pull out quicker to the firstbase side. And that SOMETIMES makes them easier targets for 'outside' pitches. But if you miss with your spot/pitch location (even by just a little) then you are playing right into the slapper's hands by throwing the ball where they want it. Riseballs are easier to hit as the ball is coming UP into their field of vision vs. dropping out of the field of vision.

Playing percentages, which is what this game is about... I throw down and in. Trying to get them to pull it to 2nd base.
Depending on how good your rise is and how big a bind you are in, yeah. Runner on third that I can't let score less than two outs I'm going with the rise for the pop up. No one on I'd throw the rh drop curve if I've got it.
 

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