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Re: Re: Re: Fastpitch Softball


Posted by: () on Wed Sep 18 08:49:14 2002


.My daughter just turned 11 and can hit almost any pitch inside from 40 to 55 mph two inches from her nose, she can drive a fastball down the middle, and even can wait on a change to hit, but the curve ball puts her on the pine. What can I do to help, she can make contact, but it usually a soft hit off the end of the bat to first or second if not a stike out. I have already moved her up in the box on the front of the plate and on top of it, she uses a 31" 19.5 oz. bat (she only weights 90lbs.) Would a more closed stance help. Believe it or not it is not a problem in travel ball because she gets a mix of pitches and she loves inside pitches, and she usually will get one because she crowds the plate. However in our local league where we all know each other all she gets is curve balls. Help!
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> > > > > > > > In the book "Keep Your Eye On The Ball" give a good explination and the math on the "rise ball." But beleiving there is a rise ball when there can't be a rise ball is a good example of why hitting in softball is in a dismal state and won't get any better.
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> > (I am wondering who the best riseball pitchers, men or women, are that you have studied or at least watched in person? Just curious. I have seen a lot of effective "riseballers" who you could convince me were throwing a pitch that dropped less than you would expect and not rising from original trajectory. I have seen some who "appeared to make it break up much, much more than some of the first group. I am still trying to reconcile this "illusion". Just this saturday, I watched a girl throw backspin pitches (I call them a riseball, you call them a backspin pitch or whatever) and make good hitters who can drive the ball (some with rotational mechanics) miss the ball at the waist and below. OK, maybe it just looked like it was rising since we all expected it to drop more than it did. WHO CARES. It rose above the expected path and that is all that matters. In fastpitch, this pitch is called a riseball and a good one is a booger to hit. Especially if the pitcher can maintain the movement or illusion of movement in the strike zone. Just ask the Olympians who were baffled by possibly the best female rise ball in the world thrown by Cat Osterman at Fort Worth last summer. Last Sunday she used it effectively against the Olympians in a 2-1 win on a day when her rise ball was sub par for her. You can tell me it doesn't rise above it's initial trajectory and I'll say, maybe you're right but have you seen Cat pitch up close? Now if you tell me there is no such pitch, I'll say call it what you want, it's effective. Now if all you have seen is pitchers who have to throw it neck high to be effective, then you have never seen a good one. Can it actually rise? Doesn't matter.)
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> > > > As was mentioned before,in college fastpitch,the pitchers have dominated.About 10 yrs ago,they went more and more to the riseball which was successful for a while and really encouraged the light aluminum bat/level shoulder armswing/linear mechanics.Pitchers then went to the drop ball which was the main pitch for a few years(PAC-8is what I see most),working up and down.Batters had to adjust and started rotating the body and bending at the waist and hitting the low ball,occasionally getting the lower body into the swing(low/middle-out location).The pitchers next adjusted with the off speed stuff,and now in the last year or two have had to learn to go inside/out and own the inside half of the plate to stay ahead of the hitters.There are almost no batters capable of keeping the hands in and turning on the inside pitch,yet.Pithchers now have the curve ball/screwball and screwdrop to go east west,torture hitters inside and keep it away from the lefty slappers.
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> > (Interesting historical perspective. Thanks)
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> > > > Hitters need to learn rotational mechanics and bottom hand torque to get better control of the inside half of the plate as a next step.The higher the riseball is the more it moves so it's still best to recognize and take it rather than look for it and try to hit it.
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> > Yep.
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> > > To Whom,
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> > > A softball fastpitch cannot be released "just above the knee." For most girls (and guys) if they let their arms hang down at their sides their finger tips will come to about mid-thigh or a shade below. Girls know this because this is the usuall guide line for the lenght of skirts in most schools. Griping the softball makes the length shorter and most girls have their arms bent during their motion so the pitch cannot be relaased any were near their knee. Most of them release the pitch from hip level to the waste.
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> > (You are presuming they are standing straight up which sounds like you are presuming stepping style mechanics. Most top pitchers use leap and drag mechanics dragging their trail foot far behind their lead or plant foot. This, combined with backwards lean, enables a lower release point.)
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> > > I don't want to make a point of criticism but I think this demonstrates the nature of the problem with the teachings of softball techniques today. Releasing the ball below mid thigh is impossible unless the pitcher bends over in their motion, which none of them are taught to do and no good pitchers do. If they do bend over its early in their motion and are upright at release. Their arms are just not long enough to reach to their knee. Yet people will base a theory of pitching or hitting on this imaginary release point.
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> > (You and I agree on the need for rotational mechanics (except of course for the left side slappers) and I don't want to make a point of criticism but even where you are right you seem to need to do a little more field research to add to your book learning or to what you have seen from the outside of the fence.)
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> > > The rise ball is a pitch that is on an upward trajectory and drops from the pull of gravity. Its no more a "rise ball" then a fast ball thrown over hand to knee level is a sinker ball. Its just on a downward tregectory.
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> > (A riseball is a backspin softball pitch that fools a batter by using lift to end up in the hitting zone at a point higher than the batter expects. Whether or not it actually does what it appears to do is an interesting discussion, but of no practical value.)
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> > > Since gravity is a consistant force ALL thrown balls start to drop from the path at relase the instant it leaves the pitcher's hand. And the speed has nothing to do with it. This is a fundemental unchangeable law of nature and no spin, trajectory or wishfull thinking can change it. THERE IS NO RISE BALL.
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> > (Is that why baseball's best struggle when they face a Joan Joyce or a Lisa Fernandez? I know a fellow who set SWC hitting records and got drafted into the pros. Pretty good hitter, not Ted Williams, but certainly very competent. Definitely hit rotationally. But when he tried to play high level men's fastpitch he couldn't hit a rise to save his life. OK, I won't call it a rise. It's a backspin softball pitch. Whatever it is, the men love to throw it at the knees and they wouldn't keep doing it if it wasn't effective. Once again, who cares if it rises or does the jitterbug, it works.
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> > Louy, you may be right about much of what you say, but you sound like someone who took a walk in the woods and is prepared to lecture on botany. That's OK though, been there myself. Sometimes still visit. lol)
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> > Mark
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