Hamm’s switch-hitting ability gives Oriskany unique edge


Aeron Hamm is unlike most softball players in Central New York.

Hamm is a switch-hitter, who also changes which side of the plate she’s hitting in the middle of her at bats.

“Depending on the situation, the score, the count or where runners are, we flip her around from left to right,” head coach Mike Reilly said.

Over the offseason, the Redskins proposed to Hamm, a natural right-handed hitter, to learn how to hit from the left side as well.

“I thought it was something interesting,” she said.  “I’ve never done that before and never thought I’d be one to switch hit.  I wasn’t always the best hitter.  It was something to think about.”

Reilly had an inkling Hamm would be able to handle the move.

“(Aeron) is fast and athletic,” he said.  “It gives her those extra two steps to first base.  When we need to get a bunt down in Aeron’s at-bat, she’s a good one to do it from the left side.”

Reilly and his assistant coaches had to talk Hamm into giving it a shot.

“They convinced me that my speed is something that would help me from the left side,” she said.  “It (could make me) a more diverse player.”

The transition wasn’t smooth sailing.

“It was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be,” she said.  “There’s a lot of steps you have to take, how you have to have your body and the timing.  It’s a lot of thinking.”

Mastering it though can create a lot of issues for the opposing defense.

“They have to switch a lot,” she said.  “I think it’s an advantage and another thing for them to think about.”

Hamm has played a key role for Oriskany in their 11-1 start to the season.  They’re slated to face West Canada Valley on Wednesday.

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