Catcher Meme #11
Keep Your Knees Up!
Although not exclusive to softball (this definitely happens in the guys game too), I see more and more softball catchers receiving pitches while caving their glove-side knee to the ground. EVERY PITCH.
It's one thing if this is a last resort to receive an errant pitch thrown so far away from the catcher's throwing-hand side that she has to turn and reach for the pitch. Sometimes the pitch is so bad that you have to abandon your original stance in the name of keeping the ball from going behind you. However, to receive every single pitch this way is incredibly detrimental to a catcher's ability to keep strikes looking like strikes and to adjust to a pitch in the dirt.
This catcher from Texas continually dropped her knee to the ground on every pitch, usually before the ball had left the pitchers hand. If there was nobody on base and less than two strikes on the batter and she wanted to set her target lower in the zone while keeping the glove centered to her body, I actually wouldn't have a big problem with it. But, that wasn't the case here. This was in the College Softball World Series, with two strikes on the batter and there was a runner on 1st base with just one out.
In the softball world, if a runner reaches 2B with less than two outs the chances that she scores are astronomically high. If you ask me, that seems like too big a price to pay for using flawed receiving mechanics.
The second that knee touches the ground our adjustability to any pitch not throw exactly where we wanted it disappears. We lose the ability to square up to a ball in the dirt that isn't thrown to the middle of our body and very often that will lead to a runner advancing to the next base.
Save yourself the trouble catchers, keep the knees up!