Softball Pitch Types: The Drop Ball

When you’re in need of a ground ball out, the drop ball pitch can help things fall into place.

In softball, not only is it valuable to have a diverse array of pitches, it’s also important to know when to use them. The right pitch for a strikeout might be different than the right pitch to help your defense get a double play. For the latter situation, it’s helpful to have mastered the drop ball.

“A drop ball is a very effective low-ball strike used especially when the pitcher needs a ground ball out,” former professional softball player Jessica Vogel says.

When throwing a drop ball body positioning is very important. You need to “get up and over” your front leg by snapping your wrist toward your inner hip.

DROP BALL TIPS

As you begin to pitch a drop ball, your body should be in a slightly forward posture. To make this pitch effective:

  • Take about one or two inches off of your stride. This will help you “get up and over” your front leg sooner. This entails snapping your wrist toward your inner hip.
  • As your arm comes down, keep pressure on your middle and index fingers.
  • Before you release the ball, imagine you are going to drop it between your legs. As your body moves forward, the ball will as well.

If done correctly, the pitch will drop within the last three feet. You can pitch a drop ball to either side of the plate by simply moving your feet two inches to the right or left from your location within the circle.

DROP BALL SNAP DRILL

You can practice the drop ball pitch with the Drop Ball Snap Drill. To do so:

  • Position yourself five to seven feet from your catcher.
  • Isolate your forearm and wrist.
  • Push down on the ball.
  • Drop it between your legs to get a nice, clean roll to your catcher.

For more on how to grip and snap a drop ball, check out these tips.