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The "Rom-Bomb" was the term coined after watching Sierra Romero go yard game after game. During Sierra's freshmen campaign, she hit 23 home runs. She will graduate the University of Michigan's all-time leader in career home runs and RBIs.
Stance & Launch Position
Starting with an open stance is a style Sierra adopted when she got to college. She comments, "Once I got my swing how I wanted it...it's all a part of my timing and power." Before the pitch delivery, Romero varies her barrel angle for tempo and timing.
When the pitcher begins her arm circle forward, Romero rocks back slowly 55-60% of her weight to her back leg.
At toe touch, she gets her barrel into a 45° angle. Her foot plants at 45° with a 50/50 weight distribution.
Creating Resistance & Contact
Romero's hips begin to open. Resistance is created between her trunk and upper body. Think about the relationship between your trunk and upper body when you throw a ball.The back elbow closes. Both eyes are locked on the ball. The barrel begins to swing like a pendulum with the barrel swinging on a horizontal plane. Her hips fully rotate and the barrel strikes the ball centimeters below the center of the ball. That contact position creates backspin launching the ball over 200 feet from home plate. The diagram below explains where to contact the ball for optimal backspin.
Romero stands at 5 foot 5 inches and she hits with tremendous power. She allows the ball to get deep in the zone releasing her barrel at the last second. The bat and barrel make contact around her front foot or just behind it.What's unique about her swing is that her back heel barely lifts off the ground. If you watch Detroit Tigers Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera swing, his back foot is off the ground at contact. Some hitting coaches would argue that lifting the back foot off the ground allows for maximum weight transfer.
Confidence is Key
Romero steps in the box with the intention of destroying the ball at every opportunity. During her first at bat, she takes an aggressive mindset to attack anything in the strike zone.
In the dugout, every pitch the opposing pitcher throws is recorded on a hitting chart. Pitcher tendencies and patterns are identified to form a detailed approach for at bat two and three. Sierra may choose to focus on one side of the plate for at bat number two or three depending on the pitcher's tendencies.
I always go up to bat confident. No matter if I've gone 0 for 3. I try to get a hit every time.
During training sessions, Sierra will practice hitting balls out of the strike zone on purpose. Her aggressive mindset and ability to hit bad balls out of the strike zone only increases her confidence at the plate. Simply put, Sierra believes she can hit anything and everything.
She admits that her aggressive mindset can get her in trouble. Her desire to crush the ball can lead to her swinging at pitches out of the zone. Chewing gum calms her anxiety at the plate.
Drills That Make Sierra's Bat Go Boom
Extension drill and hitting with a fungo bat are two of her favorite drills.
When practicing the extension drill, Sierra does not finish her swing to focus on contact through extension.
Using the fungo bat gives her the end-loaded feel to her swing. Sierra says it adds more "whip" to her swing.
As a hitting coach, I like having my hitters use a wooden baseball bat or fungo. Most fastpitch softball bats are evenly distributed in weight so the hitter won't feel "whip".
"Whip" is the feeling when your wrists release the barrel accelerating the bat head to contact.
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