Good Sports: Bulldogs softball coach reinventing team's approach at the plate

FRESNO STATE, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno State's softball team opens their 2020 season on Friday.

Their new hitting coach is using technology to take a different approach to the game.

Coach Matt Lisle was born in the Bay Area. His grandfather went to Fresno State so Lisle grew up a fan of the Bulldogs.

"He used to always say to me - I never worked a day in my life. For me, that was kind of an inspiration and wanting to do what I love."

Right now, that love is looking at analytics.

It's an approach taking the baseball world by storm.

Lisle spent a year developing hitting programs for the Chicago White Sox. Now he's using data to further player development for the Bulldog softball team.

"Everything we're doing has metrics to it, when you're able to measure it consistently our athletes are being able to see a number. Like a grade in class," says head coach Linda Garza.

Fresno State has invested tens of thousands of dollars into this highly advanced technology.

Garza says fewer than 10 D-1 schools have these machines.

"This weekend we're going to face a pitcher that throws a rise ball and changeup. So the setting is on fast ball rise ball on random."

But even with all of the advanced metrics, Lisle keeps things simple.

"My hitting philosophy is - do damage and get on base. All revolves around those two things. We use all this data to create individual hitting plans for everybody," he says.

The coach isn't just savvy with baseball technology.

He's been tabbed the internet's most famous baseball and softball coach.

"About three years ago I turned off all notifications on social media," Lisle says. "I came up with the approach - I'm going to share things that would be valuable to a parent, coach, and athlete, things that I love - baseball and softball. Next thing you know I had 100,000 followers and now I have close to a million."

Behind all the numbers and the analytics, his 19-year coaching career is the story of chasing your dream.

"It was just a really difficult grind, you know I've lived out of my car, we've lived at my in-laws. We've done a lot of difficult things to finally make it."

He's a coach doing what he loves and crunching numbers at the plate one hit at a time.
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