How to Pitch Inside

Timid pitchers are ineffective pitchers. Fastpitch hurlers that aren't aggressive can be squeezed at the plate and leave themselves vulnerable to being dominated by quality hitters.

Here are a couple of tips from former Cal softball standout, Joceylyn Forest, on how to attack hitters and establish the inside corner.

The Myth of Pitching Outside

There are many different approaches a pitcher can take to beat a good hitter. I often see pitchers working the low outside corner--relying mainly on dropballs and curves--to get the"big hitters" out. The theory being: pitching outside keeps hitters from getting the sweet part of the bat on the ball.

However, batters today are smarter and getting better at learning how to go with those outside pitches.

The Strategy of Pitching Inside

One of my favorite ways to beat a big hitter is to throw hard and at the hands with inside pitches. When you bust a batter hard and inside it is difficult for them to get their bat head around and/or to get extended on the ball. (And often, if they do get a hold of one, it's nothing more than a foul ball.)

I like to start low and inside, with a low rise or screwball for the first strike; getting that first pitch in there for a strike is extremely important and gives you as a pitcher more room to "play".

Then I like to "climb the ladder"--meaning throw the next pitch slightly higher than the one before. Once they bite, I continue to climb. To the batter it seems as though it's that same pitch (the strike) over and over.

But if you're going to go inside on a big hitter, you've GOT to make sure you get that ball INSIDE and be careful not to hang the pitch over the plate. Otherwise you just might be waving goodbye to the ball as it leaves the park.

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