Learning a New Way to Swing The Bat: LSH's Skylar Hollenback - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Learning a New Way to Swing The Bat: LSH's Skylar Hollenback

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The season may be over for the Loyola Sacred Heart softball team, after they failed advance from last weekends divisional tournament. But the future is bright, as the entire team returns next season, including a successful sophomore who was taught a new way of hitting in her freshman year.

It's a trend that is gaining plenty of popularity…the art of slap-hitting…where naturally right-handed batters switch to the left-hand side of the plate, something Loyola's Skylar Hollenback started her freshman year.

"She's a competitor.  So when it wasn't going her way, she'd get a little frustrated," says LSH head coach Troy Waters.

"It was definitely hard for me last year, I didn't really get the hang of it, and this year, it's come a little more natural, because now when I pick up a bat I go to my left hand," adds Hollenback.

More comfortable, and the results are starting to show.

"Just the bat control she's developed in one year of softball is amazing," says Waters.

But there are still some difficulties

"Definitely just doing everything left handed now, and switching to putting your mitt on and throwing with you right hand, then back to batting left, that transition is kind of difficult," says Hollenback.

So what is the point of slap hitting, and why is it worth having someone switch the way they've swung since they were young?

"When you flip the girl around on the left side, she's already starting two steps ahead from anyone on the right side.  When you're coming through the ball, and running as you hit it, any bobble, any hesitation by the defense at all, and she's going to be safe," explains Waters.

While Skylar's first love is basketball, and that's where she hopes to compete in college. With several new programs coming up around the state, and her coaches encouragement, she's starting to realize softball might be another option

"I thought it was interesting, because I didn't have the mindset coming into softball with hopes of playing college softball, but now that he's opened my mind to it, I have some consideration for it, but basketball is definitely where my heart is," says Hollenback.

"With the addition of the Griz program, and Carroll's program, and some of the others that are around, this year I think she's batting .420 and it's her second year playing softball, so the sky is jus the lijust for her, no pun intended, but she's really starting to excel," says Waters.
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