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How to Throw Breaking Balls Using Orthodox Softball Pitching Techniques

By Phillip Woolgar

Orthodox softball is often referred to as modified softball. It is played on a regular baseball diamond between two teams with nine players each. One team is the offense and the other plays defense in two halves of seven innings. The defending team pitches a softball, which is about twice the size of a baseball, from a pitching mound, over the plate to a catcher. The team on offense has a player holding a bat who tries to hit the ball if it is hittable, which is determined by an umpire who sits behind the catcher. Pitches are thrown underhand using a bowling motion. Unlike regular softball, the ball cannot be thrown in a "windmill" fashion.

Find the spot on the softball where the laces are spread out the most. Dig your cleats into the dirt and prepare to throw the ball.

Spread your index and pinkie fingers onto each side of the lace. Hide the formation of your pitch in your glove so the batter can't see what you are throwing. Another player could also tip her off by using a modified sign language.

Put your ring and middle fingers close to each other on top of the ball, between the laces. Put your thumb exactly on the opposite side of your ring and middle fingers.

Push your glove and ball into the air in front of your face. Step your left leg forward, if you're right handed. At the same time, pull the ball from your glove and swing it into the air behind you. As you land, release the ball.

Release your thumb when you release the pitch. As you fully extend your arm, push off with your fingers as you turn them counterclockwise. This would be clockwise for lefties.

Prepare for the batter to hit the ball back to you by getting into a steady stance. If you threw a really good pitch, however, you shouldn't have to worry about the batter making contact because the ball will break away from right-handed batters, if it was thrown by a right-handed pitcher.

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