There are a lot of different types of softball pitching grips. We will briefly discuss the most popular ones and explain their meaning. We’ll begin with the most popular terms: C-grip or the 4-seam grip and the horseshoe grip or the 2-seam grip.

A player pitching the ball.

4-seam vs. 2-seam (C-grip vs. horseshoe)

The C-grip is the most commonly used pitching grip in softball. It is a neutral (no pronation) position that places the thumb on top of the ball next to the index finger. The other three fingers are wrapped around the baseball, with all fingers pointing toward home plate.

The horseshoe pitching grip was popularized by Nolan Ryan and is similar to the C-grip, except that it has more active motion.

C-grip is used for throwing curve balls. The horseshoe pitching grip is used for throwing a curve ball in softball.

The horseshoe is a grip that you use to throw a softball. It’s one of the most common grips in the game. You can also use it to throw a fast pitch, but it’s not as popular because other grips are easier to use.

The horseshoe is a straight-arm delivery where your elbow is at shoulder level, and your hand is open like you’re holding a cup of coffee. The ball comes up from this angle and then spins around your wrist when it gets to the end of its trajectory.

This grip works well for starting pitchers because they don’t have to worry about getting hurt by throwing hard or fastballs into the strike zone, which is difficult with other grips. After all, they require more effort from their arm and shoulder muscles than what’s needed for a softball pitch.

That being said, C-grips are more recommended for beginners as they lack tailing action.


This is a very common grip for female pitchers. The fingers are placed on the third finger (index), middle finger (middle), and ring finger (ring). The pinkie is kept straight and rests on top or behind the ball. This is a reasonably secure grip that allows for easy throwing while also providing good control over spin.


The second type is known as the “English” or “American” grip, depending on where you live. This is similar to the 3-finger grip but with one exception: the fingers rest separately instead of resting above or behind the ball as they do with the 3-finger grip.

Because of this difference, this style of pitching grip tends to be more suitable for male pitchers due to its less secure feel compared to a more secure feeling like that of a 3-finger pitch.


This style uses two fingers to hold the ball in place. The index finger is placed on top of the middle finger, which rests at the top of the ball. This technique allows pitchers to get more control over their pitches and make them more consistent.


This style uses three fingers to hold the ball in place. The index finger is placed on top of the middle finger, which rests at the top of the ball, and the ring finger rests on the bottom side near the seam between the index finger and thumb. This technique also allows pitchers to get more control over their pitches.

Palm-down vs. palm-up

Palm-down means your palm is facing down on the ball as you hold it, while palm-up means your palm is facing up on the ball as you hold it.

Overhand vs. underhand

The overhand or underhand grip can be used by right- and left-handed pitchers and infielders who switch positions between third base and shortstop.

  • The overhand grip involves wrapping your entire hand around the bat while holding it at shoulder level, with your thumb pointed toward home plate.
  • The underhand grip involves wrapping your entire hand around the bat with your thumb pointed toward the third base. Both grips require some strength to throw effectively and move quickly through pitches.


The fingertip grip allows more control over how much force you apply when throwing a pitch. It’s also more likely to result in a blister on your palm or finger if it’s not adequately warmed up before each game begins. This hand position forces you to use less strength than other grips and makes it easier for batters to hit off.

In conclusion

A softball pitcher grips the ball to control its speed and spin. These grips can be used for various situations, including warming up or throwing off a mound. The type of grip that is used depends on the pitcher’s preferences.

When choosing a grip, you want to ensure that it feels comfortable in your hand and allows you to throw with control. Some people prefer one type over the other, but all work well for different people.