Softball Pitching – How To Easily Get 80% of Batters Out

I’ve coached at pretty much all levels of the game going from rec 8U to college and international softball in the ast 20 years.

I’ve coached and watched a lot of softball games in my life.

A couple of years ago, I even spent an entire summer scouting (charting pitches, identifying pitching patterns, measuring speed, etc.) and filming the best pitchers in the world (Finch, Roche, Ueno, Fernandez, etc.) for the Canadian Women’s National Team.

One thing that seems to be consistent accross all levels is the difficulty that the majority of batters have hitting the low inside and outside pitches.

At the younger levels (not talking about 18U Gold or college ball), I strongly believe that if a pitcher keeps the ball low most of the time and throws strikes on the low corners (even only using a fastball), she can get easily 80% of the batters out.

Do you know many teams that carry a lot of of hitters able to consistently hit rockets out of low inside or outside pitches?

I don’t.

Most teams may have one or two such hitters – maybe three if they are lucky.

Hitting a low inside or outside pitch (even if it is a strike) solidly is tough and challenging!

As you know, I strongly believe in shifting the odds in your favor.

Think about this for a second…

Most hitters fail at least 70% of the time (less than .300 batting average) at the plate.

The same hitters probably fail at least 85% of the time on low inside or outside pitches for strikes.

What are the odds that 2 or even 3 hitters will line up several hits in a row to score a run if you keep the ball low, throw strikes and avoid giving up walks?

The odds are very low – especially if your defense can do the job of getting the batters out on easy grounders or lazy pop-ups.

Bottom line – there are two things I want to emphasize:

1) Keep the ball low on the corners. Throw most of them for strikes.

2) Practice keeping the ball low.

Unless you are practicing a rise or a high pitch on purpose, everything you throw even in a warm-up should always be BELOW the waist (and knee-high ideally).

I see a lot of pitchers who warm-up and keep throwing everything high until they get in their full motion. That’s a mistake.

Why so? Because you’re training the habit of throwing the ball high. Pitching is a matter of timing and consistency of release point.

Start right away learning to throw strikes low inside or outside consistently on each pitch – even in the warm-up.

To go a step further, I would probably ban anything that is above the waist – unless it was meant when working with younger pitchers!

Just doing this will quickly help you get most of the batters out!

Imagine when you start mixing them up with change-ups and other moving pitches in addition to keeping the ball low, you can become a very effective pitchers even if you don’t throw that hard!

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