How to Slap Hit an Outside Pitch
Many softball players think outside pitches are really difficult for slappers to hit. In reality, slappers aim to hit every pitch as if it were outside. The trajectory of an outside pitch allows the ball to get deep near the back hip before making contact, which is actually an ideal set-up for slappers.
If you are a slapper and you’re having trouble with the outside pitch, keep reading. This softball guide will unveil a useful tip that may have blown right past you.
Walk Towards the Plate
An outside pitch curves away from the batter, making footwork even more crucial to the hitting process than it is normally. Imagine an undisciplined slapper whose footwork takes her towards first base, or even a disciplined slapper who stays on a line straight towards the pitcher. In both of those circumstances, a pitch that’s thrown over the outside corner may be hard to reach because the feet are moving in one direction, and the ball is curving in the other.
So how can a slapper make solid contact with outside pitches? It may sound incredibly simple, but a slapper’s competitive edge against any pitch is her footwork. To make solid contact with an outside pitch, a slapper simply needs to walk towards the plate rather than straight at the pitcher. This gives the slapper more ground to cover, and extends her reach at least one foot beyond the plate. To get a better visual of how you want to walk towards the plate, follow the three steps below:
- Assume your normal starting position in the box.
- From your back foot, draw a diagonal line that extends straight to the plate. This is the line that you want to walk along. Notice that it takes you straight to the plate.
- Your last step should take you right to the inside line of the batter’s box. Whatever you do, make sure you aren’t standing on the chalk!
Many slappers have a habit of moving towards first base before making contact with the ball, which will make hitting outside pitches really difficult. On outside pitches, slappers must be incredibly disciplined — they cannot start moving down the first base line before making contact. Slappers have to stay in the box and aggressively move towards the plate, not away from it.
Throw Your Hands Outside
As with any slapping technique, a slapper will throw her hands away from her body and try to send the ball through the 5-6 hole. Walking towards it, a slapper will have a better feel for the hit and should be able to send the ball exactly where she wants it to go.
Hot Tip: Be Careful of Inside Pitches
If a pitcher catches onto your tactic, you may see some inside pitches or change-ups. That’s her way of trying to push you off the plate. If this ever happens, the easiest thing to do would be to lay down a bunt.
Get It Done
No pitch should ever blow past a slapper. In fact, a pitcher should learn to dread facing slappers because of their ability to keep every ball alive, potentially taking the pitch count into the teens. If you can master the outside pitch, you’ll be a force to reckon with once you’re on the field.