“I’m not a person that’s too cocky, but when that pitch is working I have a lot of confidence with what I can do.”
Kelsey Stevens, Oklahoma
Out pitch: The full repertoire
Changeup, curveball, fastball, screwball, riseball, or dropball — it doesn’t matter for Oklahoma sophomore Kelsey Stevens.
“I can go to almost any of them,” Stevens said. “I like curve, rise, and change a lot, but it just depends. It depends on the batter, really. Obviously, if it’s a right-hander I’ll go with the curve for an out pitch and for a lefty probably the screwball. But I’m pretty confident in my changeup, too.”
The unpredictability helped Stevens set a school record for wins in a season while going 38-9 as the primary starter for the Sooners.
“I think there’s some pitchers you can say, ‘Oh, you know this is her pitch,’ so she’s going to go to it,” Stevens said. “I don’t feel like you can really say that with me. It definitely helps.”
Christina Hamilton, Louisiana-Lafayette
Out pitch: Dropball
She might be best known for her lense-free Ray Bans glasses, but it’s the development of her dropball that has turned Louisiana-Lafayette’s Christina Hamilton into one of softball’s top pitchers.
“I’ve been more a riseball pitcher my whole life,” Hamilton said. “Just recently, this year, I got a dropball. It has changed my game a lot, because I’m not working on just one plane now. I get to work on two different planes.”
The junior, who went 29-4 this season, isn’t even sure how she managed to finally master the dropball.
“I throw it just like a fastball,” Hamilton said. “Seriously, that’s not a joke. I’ve been trying to throw a dropball, and could never get it. Then I’ll throw a fastball and it drops. It kind of falls off the table a little bit and it kind of tails out. I don’t even know how that happens.”