A screwball is one of the first breaking pitches new softball pitchers learn. The pitch is unique because it curves in the opposite direction of other breaking balls. To ensure your screwball travels the way you’d like, a strong grip and snap are crucial.
“In pitching, [having] a good grip and proper wrist snap are essential to having good control on your spin and the movement on your ball,” former professional softball player Jessica Vogel says.
The screwball allows you to be versatile in your grip, with two main options. You can choose to either use a four-seam or two-seam grip.
With a four-seam grip, you will want to look for the upside down “C” on the ball. From here, you will try to place as many fingers on the seam as possible.
While pitching a screwball with a two-seam grip, you want to look for parallel vertical seams on the ball. In this instance, you will want to focus on your index finger. It will be the last finger on the ball before you release the pitch.
As a breaking pitch, the movement of the ball is crucial to its success, so having a proper wrist snap can help. For the screwball snap, you will snap the ball off the side of your body. While you are doing this, you’ll also want to think about pushing hard against your index finger as you “screw” the ball outward.