Softball Week 3 - USF Tournament

volforlife10

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I haven’t heard anything but she is wearing a cast of some type. So probably out a while. Phillips has to step up and we are not strong enough this year to play around with the lineup because it is amid week game.
i agree. phillips is our 3rd baseman and she’s gotta start hitting the ball. i’m really hoping for rogers to return for the first sec series but who knows.
 

WizardofOz

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I've played and coached both baseball and ladies fastpitch softball as well, and your above statement could not be more wrong.

As a batter, facing a pitch coming from above the shoulder with the pitcher standing on an elevated mound is VERY different than facing a pitch that is released below the waist on a flat mound.

A baseball hitter should generally have a slightly low to high swing plane. Whereas a softball hitter should have a mostly level swing plane. I think a major problem with our hitters having a high number of strike outs last year, and having a large number of swings without making any contact, is because many of the lady vols have too much of a low to high swing plane. This is also why we typically have difficulty when facing pitchers with a good rise ball.

Think about the path of the ball and the plane of the swing and it should give you a very good visual. If the swing plane is up, but the ball path is level (or also up) then the only chance to make contact is if the bat meets the ball at the perfect time. With a level swing plane, the bat remains on the same plane as the ball longer so you can hit the ball early or late and still make good contact.
Oklahoma’s softball hitting coach taught my kid at camp that a level or flat swing equaled a flat hit ball. He taught to hit the ball with backspin so it would fly out of the park. He coached chamberlain...when my daughter would hit a line drive he said “flat equals flat”. In other words, her swing was too long and too level...I guess I posted this to say that everyone has their own way of teaching hitting and maybe no one is completely right or completely wrong.
 

kregman

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Oklahoma’s softball hitting coach taught my kid at camp that a level or flat swing equaled a flat hit ball. He taught to hit the ball with backspin so it would fly out of the park. He coached chamberlain...when my daughter would hit a line drive he said “flat equals flat”. In other words, her swing was too long and too level...I guess I posted this to say that everyone has their own way of teaching hitting and maybe no one is completely right or completely wrong.
I’ve been out of the camp scene for awhile but the majority of the better hitting and power teams have gone to a modified launch angle approach. We tend to hit down on the ball to much.
 
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larjoranj

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Oklahoma’s softball hitting coach taught my kid at camp that a level or flat swing equaled a flat hit ball. He taught to hit the ball with backspin so it would fly out of the park. He coached chamberlain...when my daughter would hit a line drive he said “flat equals flat”. In other words, her swing was too long and too level...I guess I posted this to say that everyone has their own way of teaching hitting and maybe no one is completely right or completely wrong.
When your daughter would hit a line drive he would complain about her swing? Interesting. I thought the goal was to hit line drives.


What was his preferred swing path to get backspin? Any ball hit on the bottom half will have backspin, whether you swing level or have an uppercut.
 
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IBlvNTmWrk

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Oklahoma’s softball hitting coach taught my kid at camp that a level or flat swing equaled a flat hit ball. He taught to hit the ball with backspin so it would fly out of the park. He coached chamberlain...when my daughter would hit a line drive he said “flat equals flat”. In other words, her swing was too long and too level...I guess I posted this to say that everyone has their own way of teaching hitting and maybe no one is completely right or completely wrong.
I agree with some of this, but respectfully disagree with some as well. I've never heard of a coach complaining about a batter that hits line drives. (Unless they're trying to teach the batter to become more of a power hitter.)

First off, the swing plane will obviously vary with the position of the pitch... and secondly, the swing plane should also vary depending on what you're trying to accomplish as a batter. For example, if there's a runner on third with less than two outs, then the batter should mostly be trying to make contact and putting the ball in play. And it's a simple concept that the longer you can keep the bat on the same plane as the ball, then the greater your likelihood of making contact.

I've always taught my hitters that there's only two outcomes that will ALWAYS prevent a runner from advancing... a strike out and a pop up.

Now... I certainly didn't mean to imply that a swing is flat because it can't be. The swing obviously starts around chest/shoulder height and then finishes at or above the shoulder as well, so clearly there is a down swing followed by an up swing. However, the plane of the swing, while the bat is over the plate, is where it needs to maintain a mostly level (slight upswing) plane to be a good contact hitter.

And I agree with the comment regarding backspin. Too many young hitters today think that you have to "swing up" to hit homeruns when in reality it is the backspin that lifts the ball... and more importantly, also makes it carry further because of the backward spin. How many times have you seen hitters make good contact on a ball only to have it drop from the air instead of rise? That is caused by too much of an upward swing and catching the ball slightly above center causing a forward rotation instead of a backward rotation.

I've often referenced Ted Williams swing as an example as he was arguably the best contact hitter of all time. Watch how long his swing plane remains relatively flat and how his swing finishes around his back shoulder instead of above his shoulder or at the neck like many swings do today.

And apologies for the long post... but I've studied swings and swing mechanics for years so just wanted to add some clarification to my previous post.

[VIDEO=][VIDEO=][/VIDEO][/VIDEO]
 

larjoranj

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Pardon my crude drawing, I just did this on paint in about 2 minutes. In the first pic you see the path of the ball in a black line and the path of a swing in a red line. The longer the swing path of the bat stays on the same path as the ball, the better. Assuming the pitch stays relatively flat you can swing late, on time or early and still make contact with the ball. Unless you just swing so late the ball is already by you or so early the ball hasn't gotten to you yet. Swinging late on plane will hit the ball opposite field, on time will hit it up the middle and early will pull the ball. But the longer the bat is on plane with the ball the greater percentage chance you have to hit the ball.
swing path.jpg


In pic 2 you have the pitch in black and an uppercut swing in red. The ONLY place you can make contact with the ball is where the 2 lines intersect. Swing late and you are under it, swing early and you are over it. Lower percentage chance of hitting the ball. If you time it dead perfect you can certainly lift it and hit it out, but margin of error is much smaller. Just my opinion

swing path 2.jpg
 

SEC FAN 1111

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I agree with some of this, but respectfully disagree with some as well. I've never heard of a coach complaining about a batter that hits line drives. (Unless they're trying to teach the batter to become more of a power hitter.)

First off, the swing plane will obviously vary with the position of the pitch... and secondly, the swing plane should also vary depending on what you're trying to accomplish as a batter. For example, if there's a runner on third with less than two outs, then the batter should mostly be trying to make contact and putting the ball in play. And it's a simple concept that the longer you can keep the bat on the same plane as the ball, then the greater your likelihood of making contact.

I've always taught my hitters that there's only two outcomes that will ALWAYS prevent a runner from advancing... a strike out and a pop up.

Now... I certainly didn't mean to imply that a swing is flat because it can't be. The swing obviously starts around chest/shoulder height and then finishes at or above the shoulder as well, so clearly there is a down swing followed by an up swing. However, the plane of the swing, while the bat is over the plate, is where it needs to maintain a mostly level (slight upswing) plane to be a good contact hitter.

And I agree with the comment regarding backspin. Too many young hitters today think that you have to "swing up" to hit homeruns when in reality it is the backspin that lifts the ball... and more importantly, also makes it carry further because of the backward spin. How many times have you seen hitters make good contact on a ball only to have it drop from the air instead of rise? That is caused by too much of an upward swing and catching the ball slightly above center causing a forward rotation instead of a backward rotation.

I've often referenced Ted Williams swing as an example as he was arguably the best contact hitter of all time. Watch how long his swing plane remains relatively flat and how his swing finishes around his back shoulder instead of above his shoulder or at the neck like many swings do today.

And apologies for the long post... but I've studied swings and swing mechanics for years so just wanted to add some clarification to my previous post.


the level swing or protractor swing your talking about Is outdated. The good hitting instructors teach launch angle and backspin which is cutting the ball. They teach it in baseball and softball mound or no mound makes any difference like you implied earlier. A flat level swing does nothing against a drop ball or low strike pitcher! Getting on plane with the pitch and having bat lag are also taught in both sports. For you to tell me I was wrong is just wrong!
 

WizardofOz

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When your daughter would hit a line drive he would complain about her swing? Interesting. I thought the goal was to hit line drives.


What was his preferred swing path to get backspin? Any ball hit on the bottom half will have backspin, whether you swing level or have an uppercut.
Yes he would say flat equals flat even if she crushed a ball that was a line drive. He wanted the long ball every time. Homeruns..that was the goal every swing. Obviously Lauren Chamberlain figures it out...my daughter not so much lol...
 

WizardofOz

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I couldn’t think of his name earlier. Tripp McKay. He was the hitting coach at OU at the time. I am just a fan of softball certainly not a coach or expert. And not trying to start an argument. Teach whatever works for that player or team. It just seemed his philosophy was different than a level swing. It worked for chamberlain. My kid was a line drive hitter with some home runs mixed in. After that camp they stopped recruiting her lol..it doesn’t matter to me if the lady VOLS hold the bat by the barrel while fake bunting every time as long as they start hitting and producing runs. GBO!!
 
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IBlvNTmWrk

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Yes he would say flat equals flat even if she crushed a ball that was a line drive. He wanted the long ball every time. Homeruns..that was the goal every swing. Obviously Lauren Chamberlain figures it out...my daughter not so much lol...
You've referenced Lauren a few times so thought I would see how she's doing in the pros. Here's a copy of a post I found on her struggles...

But Lauren has struggled in pro fast pitch softball. The stats I found for her 2015 pro softball batting are hard to believe...

.198 batting average, .298 OB%, .374 Slg%, 18 hits in 91 at bats, appearing in 40 games. Only 6 EBH (1 double and 5 HR). She walked 11 times and was HBP twice - but struck out 30 times. She struck out in almost 30% of her plate appearances.
I have no doubt that McKay was/is a good hitting coach, but he was clearly grooming her to be a homerun hitter, and her swing has not been effective moving forward unlike Shelby Pendley (also Oklahoma) who's doing exceptionally well.
 

WizardofOz

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You've referenced Lauren a few times so thought I would see how she's doing in the pros. Here's a copy of a post I found on her struggles...



I have no doubt that McKay was/is a good hitting coach, but he was clearly grooming her to be a homerun hitter, and her swing has not been effective moving forward unlike Shelby Pendley (also Oklahoma) who's doing exceptionally well.
That’s crazy isn’t it? She hit against the best pitchers and now struggling. You just never know I guess.
 

kregman

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Hitting a softball at the SEC level is an incredibility hard thing to do at a consistent pace. We were overall timid hitting last night. Milloy is going to need to compact her swing over the off season to be successful at this level (I hope she proves me wrong and goes on a big hitting run). Phillips at the moment is watching or fouling the good pitches and striking out on the pitcher's pitches. (This was a Braves special for years. Watch the two pitches over the plate and strikeout on the ball in the dirt.)
 

Volfan2012

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We've got the players at the top of the lineup that can get on base. The problem is unless they all hit Seggern, Ayala, and Shipman and drive each other in there is no anyone below them that can consistently drive anyone home. Phillips has failed four times in the last two games twice with the bases loaded, once with second and third, and again with a runner on third. So I am still not a fan of exactly how were going about getting enough runs to win games. To add the Umpires in the game last night were either terrible or North Carolina graduates. The missed calls at first were horrendous. Holcomb was safe foot down before ball arrived and Hannon was safe by over a second ball was no where near glove when she touched bag. Of course it was Phillips time to bat so may or may not have mattered. Although it didn't hurt us think the runner for NC left early on the fly ball and the Umpire let it slide. So we move on.
I think it is going to be a rough season if we continue to hope that a freshman in the four spot and couple other players batting below her are going to do enough offensively for us to win. I think we could probably rethink put Parsons back as the leadoff maybe Hannon next and then follow with the power players Ayala, Seggern, and Shipman. Wish we had McCrary back to send Phillips to the bench and then go with Morgan, Whomever and Holcomb. Our pitchers aren't winning a lot this season if were scoring less than three runs and that is what were doing way to often.
 

MS_LdyVols_fan

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We've got the players at the top of the lineup that can get on base. The problem is unless they all hit Seggern, Ayala, and Shipman and drive each other in there is no anyone below them that can consistently drive anyone home. Phillips has failed four times in the last two games twice with the bases loaded, once with second and third, and again with a runner on third. So I am still not a fan of exactly how were going about getting enough runs to win games. To add the Umpires in the game last night were either terrible or North Carolina graduates. The missed calls at first were horrendous. Holcomb was safe foot down before ball arrived and Hannon was safe by over a second ball was no where near glove when she touched bag. Of course it was Phillips time to bat so may or may not have mattered. Although it didn't hurt us think the runner for NC left early on the fly ball and the Umpire let it slide. So we move on.
I think it is going to be a rough season if we continue to hope that a freshman in the four spot and couple other players batting below her are going to do enough offensively for us to win. I think we could probably rethink put Parsons back as the leadoff maybe Hannon next and then follow with the power players Ayala, Seggern, and Shipman. Wish we had McCrary back to send Phillips to the bench and then go with Morgan, Whomever and Holcomb. Our pitchers aren't winning a lot this season if were scoring less than three runs and that is what were doing way to often.
Yes!! I hope McCrary is back soon. Phillips bat is useless at this point and almost a guaranteed out. I hate saying that about a kid but it seems she is always up in a much needed situation and either strikes out or a weak infield pop up.
 

kregman

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Random thoughts: Callie somehow has an era of 2.67 with a big bias all year toward the fielders on scoring.
That runner had to leave early. They showed the right fielder catch the ball panned quickly and the runner was already near third.
Top of order has overall been great. McCrary really helped deepen the lineup. They all have the scouting report on Morgan, they play her on the grass and still get her by two steps. She has to hit line drives to get on.
We have too many on our roster that the maximum outcome of an at bat is a walk or a weak single, therefore little rbi production there.
I know they are still going to recruit slappers but could we please recruit players that can also hit a gap.
 

MS_LdyVols_fan

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Random thoughts: Callie somehow has an era of 2.67 with a big bias all year toward the fielders on scoring.
That runner had to leave early. They showed the right fielder catch the ball panned quickly and the runner was already near third.
Top of order has overall been great. McCrary really helped deepen the lineup. They all have the scouting report on Morgan, they play her on the grass and still get her by two steps. She has to hit line drives to get on.
We have too many on our roster that the maximum outcome of an at bat is a walk or a weak single, therefore little rbi production there.
I know they are still going to recruit slappers but could we please recruit players that can also hit a gap.
Having one or two slappers is fine but we need big power hitters. That is what Florida and Oklahoma consistently recruit.
 

SEC FAN 1111

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Random thoughts: Callie somehow has an era of 2.67 with a big bias all year toward the fielders on scoring.


Completely agree the stats say 37 errors but it should be closer to 50. She probably should have an era in the high 1’s. It’s going to be tough to recruit top pitchers with the books being cooked like that.
 

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