Nobody knows that more than Ed Schutte, a man that has spent a quarter century teaching the fine art of twirling rise balls, drop balls, and screw balls.
“Pitching dominates the game,” said Schutte who specializes as a pitching coach. “Whether it is college ball, international or gold level travel ball, a team has little chance without a solid No. 1 pitcher on the mound.”
Schutte’s coaching experience ranges from the high school level, to 17 years as a coach at Georgia Perimeter College and even time at the national level — working with the 2010 Wilson National team that featured some of the top softball players in the country.
The veteran skipper’s newest endeavor is to make an imprint on the local high school scene by bringing a series of pitching clinics to the area in preparation for the 2012 high school season.
“The sport has grown so much in the last 10 years, every college is offering it as a scholarship sport now and new teams are forming everywhere in this area,” said Schutte.
“[North Fulton] is a really strong area for fastpitch and we’re only hoping to make it better.”
His pitching clinics come in conjunction with a partnership between Schutte and the Catch-and-Hit baseball facility in Alpharetta — which features multiple pitching rubbers and two full-length and retractable hitting cages.
There, Schutte will offer what he described as high-level high school pitching clinics, with a heavy emphasis on the fundamentals of pitching and proper mechanics for delivering each pitch.
Along with his own teaching, he plans to bring in a number of top hurlers from his past to assist his instruction.
“I’ve worked pitching camps in the past with Jennie Finch, coached Kaitlin Cochran, worked with Michele Smith in the past, and coached numerous girls in this area that have gone on to pitch at a high level in college.”
“We’re going to do what we can to bring in the highest profile pitchers possible to help give these local girls some advice and tips.”
The first of the camps will be held at Catch-and-Hit July 10 under the instruction of collegiate hurlers Lauren Bell (Anderson University), Alison Owen (Georgia and Mississippi State), and Christina Ezell (Shorter). The camp will be a one-day seminar for high school pitchers with individual and group instruction for each athlete in attendance.