Who’s Says You Can’t Hit a Homerun on Two Strikes?

Don’t tell Kelsi Kettler that, she won’t believe you!  She can and she did just earlier today.

I’ve never been a hitter who felt more pressure with two strikes.  In fact, for me it was less stressful because I knew I had to swing at anything close.  There wasn’t as much of a decision to make.  Anything close, swing! No more need to be “selective.”  Two strikes always meant less thinking for me and I feel that any time a hitter thinks less while trying to hit a ball it’s a good thing.  🙂

That’s why I don’t fully agree with the super conservative approach with two strikes.  Some coaches want hitters to change their stance, hold the bat different, swing different…I’d get more uncomfortable, not less.  But that’s just me.  Every hitter is different.  I don’t think a coach can blanket and entire team with one two strike approach.

Today’s WCWS game between Baylor and Oklahoma State was a super cool example of successful two strike hitting.  It’s the 8th inning.  No score.  Two outs.  Two strikes.

And Kelsi Kettler hits a walkoff homerun to win the game!

How awesome and exciting is that?  I love it.

Not only that, from what I understand, Kettler is the “backup” catcher that stepped in after the starting catcher got injured in the Super Regionals last week.  I just love stories like that.  I love seeing players who weren’t in a key role all year long, come in to a big situation, do their job so their team doesn’t miss a beat and then some. That says a lot about what kind of character, attitude, and work ethic they have.

I really don’t see a lazy backup with a bad attitude who goes through the motions all year because they’re not starting being able to step in at the DI level on the WCWS stage and make big plays like that!  It’s highly unlikely.

I haven’t even watched the whole game yet.  I just saw posts on facebook and twitter about the end of the game and thought the story was really cool.  I did see an earlier play in the game when the right fielder relayed a ball in to Kettler to get a potential scorer out at the plate to keep the game 0-0.

At first I thought the runner got in.  Because I had it on DVR, I could rewind and slow-mo.  The catcher, Kettler, did in fact tag the runner before she touched the plate.  Then I thought, she must have been obstructing the plate to make such a great play, so I rewound and slow-mo’d again.  Nope, she was toward the inside of the plate and gave the runner a lane and still made the play.  Great job!

Catchers that can handle incoming throws well at the plate are NOT under-appreciated by me.  I see too many youth catchers that don’t handle it well.  When I do have a chance to coach on a team where the catcher handles those plays at the plate well, it’s a nice luxury to have.

Like I said, not something I see a lazy backup with a bad attitude doing.  Congratulations to Baylor for moving on to the winner’s bracket!

Stay up to date with all the NCAA action with additional scores and game results at NCAA.com.

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