Courtney Blades (Rogers) was one of the greatest pitchers in college softball history, twice earning All-American honors at Southern Mississippi (1999 & 2000) and as a senior was named the USA Pitcher of the Year and the Honda Sports Award as the top collegiate player.
As a senior she set DI single-season records with 663 strikeouts and 52 victories for the Golden Eagles as Southern Mississippi would finish 3rd at the Women’s College World Series.
Today, Courtney lives in Texas and is a softball instructor working with college-bound athletes including her daughter, Britton, one of the top pitchers in the 2020 class and a commit to the Univ. of Georgia where she’ll compete for Lu Harris-Champer, Courtney’s head coach at Southern Mississippi.
In the first of an exclusive two-part video series for Extra Inning Softball, the Hall of Fame hurler covers the various ways to throw a change-up explaining that:
“Change-ups are key to being an elite pitcher. It doesn’t matter what kind you throw, really, but you need a change to keep the batters off-balance. No matter what you throw, hide the grip, make it look the same as your other stuff and then keep it low and spin it!”
“One critical note: change-ups that ‘float’ or are too slow give the batter time to reset and reload; a change-up can be too slow! The bottom line to throwing a successful change is to sell, sell, sell! A very well-known hitting coach once said the change ‘needs to look juicy the first three feet so the batter will be sold into swinging!’”