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Hitting a high-velocity fastpitch softball; a skill only the great ones possess.

Monday, March 4th, 2013

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Colin Abbott, three-time ISC World Tournament Most Valuable Player, one of the all-time great fastball hitters.

By BOB OTTO / www.ottoinfocus.com

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – I studied Canadian Brad Ezekiel and Ryan Wolfe. I leaned in closer to my computer screen, zoning in on New Zealand’s Rhys Casley, Donny Hale and Brad Rona.

How do they do it?

How do they hit a softball speeding toward home plate at 80-plus miles per hour from 46 feet away from a pitcher that can make the yellow sphere dive and dance and soar like a Hummingbird on steroids?

And then with the cruel nature of a sadist, the pitcher changes speeds. It’s as if the ball is attached to a string and our righty or lefty (prankster) yanks it back just when the batter starts to swing. Like Lucy pulling the football away from hapless Charlie Brown just as he’s about to kick it.

What special athletic gifts have been bestowed upon fastball’s great hitters, enabling them to hit the riser, the drop, the curve, and the change-up with such proficiency?

MEREDITH, A LASTING IMPRESSION
I remember in 1986 standing behind a backstop watching Kiwi Peter Meredith throw a softball harder than ANY ball I had ever seen thrown. I stood in awe of Meredith’s amazing talent.

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ISC Hall of Fame pitcher, Peter Meredith, who once pitched for TEAM USA.

I wondered: “how can anyone possibly hit his pitches?”

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