Breaking Pitches into the Strikezone

You can be a great pitcher even if you don’t have overpowering speed if you can really command multiple pitches. How do you defend against batters moving up in the box?

About the author


Phil Schonberg is a co-founder of Fastpitch Power, inc. He teaches all aspects of fastptich softball, specializing in windmill pitching and coaches' training.


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  1. Shelley Monas

    Great post, Coach! A few more questions came to mind as I worked with this with my pitchers and catchers:

    1) If we pound the ball in and the batter then pulls away from the plate do we then pitch them outside?

    2) What if they are in front of the box and the wind is also blowing out? Doesn’t the rise work better with the wind blowing out? Or do we keep the ball down and try to get the batter to hit ground balls?

    3) I use to throw the “L” of the zone if I did not know the batter, (up and in, down and in, and down and out). Am I correct in changing my strategy to pitch to them according to where they are in the box?

    4) Do you pitch the batter that is in the neutral position hi/low and different speeds?

    5) Do you throw low movement pitches to those that are in back of the box?

    Thank you for your help!


    1. Phil

      Shelley – look for my next post. I will try my best to address your questions.

      1. Shelley Monas


  2. Shelley Monas

    Coach Phil,

    I know that it is a busy time of year for you. That is great that you traveled west! I had not heard from you so I thought I would write you.

    We have completed our season and it is a time for reflection. We are in most games and great improvements have been made. We just cannot win consistently. I need your help with game planning for hitters.

    It has been more than a two year project, but I am in the process of developing a non-traditional team approach to pitch calling because I was a pitcher and I want my pitchers to commit to each pitch they throw. I teach them that their role is to make quality pitches. However I want both the pitcher and catcher to trust their instincts as I did when I pitched. They see things that a person on the bucket cannot. I continue to tweak my team approach to pitch calling system each year to make it better and limit the hitter’s effectiveness. We have our own language when it comes to game planning different hitters. You have been so helpful to me and any information I can gather will be helpful. I constantly watch games on TV to see how they pitch the most “dangerous hitters.” The only thing I can come up with is that they use the entire zone. And of course they move the ball more than my pitchers do at our level. That is why we work on developing our “tools” a lot. I get kids that say they have all the pitches, but do not! I love to keep learning. Can you help me?


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