by Gerald Warner, Softball Pitching
which pitch to throw and at what location…then being able to do
it… is an important element of every pitcher’s effectiveness. However, there are
nearly as many ideas and answers regarding pitch selection as
there are pitchers, catchers, and coaches. Everybody has their
own idea on what pitch to throw in what kind of situation, and
where the pitch should be placed. And THAT is the key…pitch
selection and pitch placement should be situational…NOT a
flat rule for every batter.
need to know:
capabilities with pitch type and
the batter’s history…what did she do in her previous
what we might expect her to do in this
whether or not there are runners on
what her coach might want her to do
how many outs there are and what the current count
what WE want the batter to do this
mentioned previously, the selection of the pitch and the intended
placement should be based on the situation and what you would like
to have as the outcome.
However, there are some recommendations based on the
conventional wisdom of experienced pitchers and coaches…what
usually works in typical circumstances:
likely runners are on base.
You want her to pop it up and perhaps even get the runner
doubled-off. Keep it
high in the zone, on the batter’s hands.
AWAY with runners in scoring position –
Go for the ground ball.
Throw a good drop ball or off-speed up and
SIDE SLAPPER –
Up and in again.
She’s trying to put it on the ground or through a hole left
or right of the pitcher.
Be care to not let it go over the middle or outside corner
chest high…that’s the easiest place for her to hit it.
Optional pitch – If the
batter is standing far back from the plate, or is has the habit of
starting down the line early, throw a curve away from her (screw
ball from a right handed pitcher) that stays low and just outside
the zone…a “chase” pitch
/ JITTERY BATTER –
Throw her an occasional off-speed pitch
IN THE BOX –
Up and inside, or an off-speed low and
THE PLATE –
Screw ball up and in on her hands
STANCE (a “no-stride” batter) –
Off-speed or drop ball placed low
this is a topic where everyone is the expert. These guidelines are
based on our experiences, and those of veteran coaches, pitchers,
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