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Three-time All-American, now college pitching coach, shares key pitching drills

10/06/2017, 6:15am PDT
By Tom Mauldin

Former Arizona State Sun Devil and current Texas Charge pitcher Dallas Escobedo says some of the reasons for her ability to throw a softball, 70 miles per hour, was her dedication to consistently doing her drills.

A three-time All-American at Arizona State University, Escobedo is now the Cal State Fullerton where she hopes to transition her pitching prowess to the Titan staff.

"I am very excited for the opportunity to continue to learn, grow, and teach the game that has given me so much," said Escobedo, who is training with a goal of playing in the 2020 Summer Olympics. In 2012 and 2017, she pitched for the Mexican National Team.

The right-hander was taken as the number one overall pick in the NPF Draft in 2014 to the Pennsylvania Rebellion where she played for three seasons before signing with the Texas Charge in January of 2016.
Prior to being drafted, Escobedo was one of the best pitchers to ever pitch for ASU. She finished as one of the most decorated Sun Devils in history, including a national championship in 2011. Escobedo played in three Women's College World Series. In addition to being a three-time All-American, she was a NFCA All-Region Team member three times, and an All-Pac 12 Team member four times.

Escobedo pitched in 173 games and had a 2.01 ERA at ASU, to go with. 115 wins and 1,222 strikeouts. She threw three no-hitters in college including the only one in ASU postseason history. She was also the 14th player in PAC-12 history to accomplish 1,000 strikeouts.

During Escobedo’s freshman year at ASI, she was was named first team All-American when she had a 1.51 ERA with in 255 innings pitched and 324 strikeouts. Her record in 2011 as a freshman was 37-3.

Escobedo says long toss, rapid arm speed spins and “the flamingo” are her three favorite drills.

“Three pitching drills I have used in my past and present preparation:”

– LONG TOSS is done from the distance of second base to home and center field to home. From second base our focus is leg drive. As you would start on the mound, take that same position from this length and our goal is to throw a “strike” from second base. Being as loose in the arm as possible and trusting in the driving force from your legs, we are pitching a strike to the catcher all the way from second base. Doing this drill after a workout is a good way to end on a strong note A dozen is a good to start with. Long toss from center field creates an endurance and body focused drill that puts a pitcher’s whole body in a good position to be as loose as she can be, while using the whole body to build momentum and get the ball as high as she can, and as far is she can. This will create a whole-body effort to get the ball where we want to be while being as loose and relaxed as she can be and ultimately finishing her pitch with the entire body moving forward at the catcher. A dozen is good to start with.

 – ARM SPEED drills are done into a net at a fast pace. Pitcher is open in the “K” position and receives a ball that is tossed from a partner about three feet away. Once the pitcher receives the ball she goes full circle around and releases at the hip into the net. Goal here is to keep arm loose and relaxed, going around as fast as she can and releasing at the hip into a net three-foot in front of her. This is a fast-paced drill, once the ball is released, the next one is coming.

– THE FLAMINGO is a leg drive and stride drill I use with pitchers to feel more of a push off on our driving leg forward as well as getting our stride out in a good position to create a full body finish. Standing on one leg, the Flamingo emphasizes push off toward our target and makes the pitcher feel balanced prior to beginning the pitch.

 

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