The Pitcher's path to okc
Learn the secrets of D1 and Team USA pitchers.
4X All-American, Team USA World Champion, current D1 pitching coach, and SpinDr founder, Jamie Southern discusses why pitchers should consider throwing changeups inside to the batter.
Jamie on Changeups:
Let's talk changeups. If you've been watching softball on TV with the super regionals and the College World Series this week you're gonna see some of the best pitchers throwing a good to great changeup. They're keeping their team successful by keeping the batters off balance. I want you to notice, they're able to go 5, 6, 7 innings. A lot of times, if a pitcher struggles with her changeup or has an ineffective changeup, she’ll struggle making it a complete game.
Another thing to think about with the changeup is: where are the pitchers throwing it? Are they throwing it inside to the batter? Are they throwing it outside or middle? Older generations of pitchers were taught to throw their changeup outside to a batter because the bats were not as lively as they are now. A lot of the times when the batters get fooled with the changeup they start moving forward with their body, their hands, and their legs. The get off-balance. When I pitched and the hitter got off balance, they had no power. It was usually just a weak ground ball, maybe a little flare. The bats weren't able to help them. Nowadays bats are more lively. That is a fact. The balls are more lively than when I pitched. So most of the times when batters will get a hit on an outside changeup, it goes up the middle like it is a base hit.
2 Reasons to Consider Throwing Your Changeup Inside to the Batter:
You can get base hits when being super fooled by the changeup on the outside, because they still have that pop with their arms. But what I want you to consider is throwing your changeup inside to the batter. There's two reasons why.
1. The first reason is there's less risk. If I'm throwing a changeup outside to a batter, she can spray that ball to right field to center, and she can even pull it to left if she's early, but if you throw it inside, if they do hit it, it's usually foul. They just pull it into foul territory. A lot of the times when I would call a changeup inside, it was a two one count. I'm like, just gimme a foul ball strike right here. It's a called strike. She doesn't look. It could be a swinging strike or it could be a foul tip. I'm looking to get us back into an even count with the batter.
2. The second part of the inside changeup and why I think it's valuable is I want you to visualize when the batter gets fooled. It's super hard for the batter to keep her hands inside the ball, to hit it in a spot where it's really gonna hurt you. The risk is not as high cuz you're limiting where they can put the ball and it's hard for them to get solid contact fair cuz most of the time their hands are already going out. They're not keeping their hands in early on this pitch, when they've started their swing.
When you're watching games during the College World Series I want you to notice where the pitcher is putting her changeup. If you're only throwing outside changeups, throw some inside changeups to the batters and see if you find success. Find out if they can get some foul tip strikes. Some swings and misses? See if it makes you a better pitcher. See what pitchers at the elite level are doing.
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Our founder, Jamie Southern, was a pitcher at Fresno State and also happened to be a four-time All-American including three first-team honors. She won the WAC Pitcher of the Year award in all four years of her career and was later named to the ESPN All-Decade Softball Team for the 2000s.
Jamie was also part of Team USA and helped lead the team to a gold medal at the 2006 World Championships. She was a #1 draft pick in the NPF and was inducted into the Fresno State Hall of Fame in 2012. Needless to say, she knows a thing or two about pitching!
Jamie is currently a mom, wife, and the pitching coach for Oregon State. Her passion is helping young girls perfect their pitch which is why she developed the SpinDr. You can find her on our social media platforms posting daily content to help young pitchers become the best they can be!