with Melyssa Lombardi, Oklahoma University Associate Head Coach/Pitching Coach; 2013 National Champions; has coached five pitchers and three catchers to 15 combined All-American honors; five-time member of the NFCA Midwest Region Coaching Staff of the Year (1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, and 2012)
Melyssa Lombardi explains a pitch that has been key to the success of the Oklahoma Sooners pitching staff: the rise ball. Coach Lombardi breaks down many facets of the rise ball, including proper mechanics, drills, and strategies for when, how, and where to throw the rise.
Rise ball basics - There are three keys to a good rise ball-correct spin, speed of the pitch, and late break. A rise ball featuring these elements will put pressure on a hitter. Coach Lombardi explains the benefits of the rise ball, and how it can make other pitches look even better.
Fundamentals and mechanics - Coach Lombardi provides an in-depth explanation of the proper mechanics for throwing a good rise. Watch as she teaches one of her pitchers how to grip the rise with either two or four seams. The correct grip, body posture, and getting into a good position at release will assist the pitcher in throwing a late-breaking pitch with good backwards spin. Coach Lombardi identifies some common mistakes associated with throwing the rise and also gives suggestions for correcting typical problems.
Drills - Coach Lombardi offers several drill progressions, with variations, for throwing a great rise ball. The pitcher starts by throwing spins to themselves, progressing to throwing to a catcher while isolating the upper body, and gradually moving farther and farther back and incorporating more of the body. By isolating parts of the body and gradually incorporating more, the pitcher can focus on how the correct execution feels for each part of the body before putting it all together.
Throwing the rise - It is often said that the most important thing in pitching is location, location, location. Coach Lombardi explains the three different levels of the strike zone for a rise ball, and when and how to throw to each level. Knowing and understanding the strategy behind how, when, and where to throw the rise will make the pitcher more effective on the mound.
Pitches that change planes are often very effective against hitters, drawing many swings and misses, because the bat is fairly thin compared to its longer length. Coach Lombardi will show you how to rack up the strikeouts by throwing a great rise. 50 minutes. 2014.