The Pitcher

A pitcher is willing to put in extra work to learn her skill. She is a smart person who understands the game. Mentally tough, she knows that errors in the field will happen and she can not let errors by other players affect her game. She has to stay positive and just go after the next batter. Umpires will not always have the same strike zone. She has to adjust to the umpires’ strike zone. A tall athlete has the potential to develop more speed than a shorter athlete.

The pitcher is the closest player to the batter and is in the most vulnerable position. Learning to get into a defensive position quickly after delivery important and need to work on for their own safety. I recommend that they wear the new protective face mask.

If the batter squares to bunt, she should be prepared to field bunts up the middle. I need to tell you, the best play is the sure out at first. Unless the game is on the line, get the sure out.

If the hit is to her right, she should only field it if she can get to it easily. Going to her right takes her away from a throw to first base and requires turning around to make a throw. If she can not field it easily, let the 3rd base or short stop play the ball. They will more than likely be going toward 1st base and that makes for an easier throw.

If the ball is hit to her left, she should go after it. Her angle of pursuit should be directly toward 1st base. If it gets past her, she may need to keep running to first base to cover the bag for the throw. The first base player may be fielding the ball and not be in position to cover the bag.

When there is a deep hit to the outfield, the pitcher is the back up for the 3rd base player. She should position herself in line with where the throw is coming from and 3rd base back by the fence. It is important to keep the ball from going out of play (into the dugout) because if it does, the umpire will award a base runner an extra base. That would mean that a runner coming to 3rd would be awarded home resulting in a score.

Developing an arsenal of pitches to draw from is something that takes time and should be worked on gradually with a qualified coach. Once she has developed some weapons, she can learn what is best to throw in different situations and batters. Pitch selection and locations would be communicated to her by the catcher. Typically, the coach or the catcher is the ones who recommend what kind of ball to throw.

She should only catch a pop fly that is hit within her small world around the circle. If anyone else calls for the catch, she should get out of the way.

The circle is where she can control the game. If she has position of the ball and is inside the circle, all she has to do is look at the lead runner and the lead runner has a moment to make her mind up to try to advance to the next base or return to the base she is on. If the lead runner does not make a commitment one way or the other, the umpire will call her out. This is known as the look back rule.

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