I used to play softball as a kid, but haven't played or seen it played on a competitive level in years. I am curious to see how fast a decent pitcher can pitch the ball? Also, how much does pitch speed change from high school to college?
Obviously, there are exceptions with some pitchers (for instance, a pitcher I played with growing up was hitting 60 mph in 16u ball but then kind of plateued). But here's an opinion to start things off...
Average Pitching Speed
Top Pitching Speed
That's perfect. Thank you. I underestimated pitchers at all levels apparently. That's fast!! I want to get a radar gun and see how fast I can pitch...might be embarrassing, but would definitely be interesting.
The Women's College World Series blows me away every year. I played against some tough pitchers, but the teams that make it to Oklahoma City are on a different level. For the past few years, many of them have been Olympic team material. They throw incredibly fast.
I've heard it said many times that the top pitching speeds from 42 feet away for college softball equates to somewhere around 100 mph fastball from Major League baseball's 60 feet and 6 inches. I believe it. Especially standing in against Jennie Finch--her stride off the mound takes that 42 feet down to 38 by the time she releases!
That's crazy. Good for the girls though!! Clearly, I need to catch a softball game this season. We didn't have softball at Richmond so I missed out. Do you know what colleges have it out here in California?
I know University of San Diego has a team as well as UCSD. Historically, UCLA is the dominant college team in Califonia and, for that matter, the nation. They have won the Women's College World Series 10 times (the most of any school). Cal, Fresno State, and Cal State Fullerton all have a tradition of having very strong programs.
But there are a too many schools out there that have softball programs to list. California has been a long-time leader in fastpitch (but the rest of the nation is catching up). It'd be cool if you caught a game. The girls out there can play!
It sounds like UCLA for softball is like the University of Maryland for lacrosse. UMD also has 10 NCAA championships, 7 of which were back to back from 1995-2001. UMD has won one since 2001 though. It's been good for the sport to have some other teams win, but UMD will always be a solid and respected program. I'm definitely interested in catching a game...I need to see these pitchers bring the heat after hearing so much about it
Come Spring...I'm in for a softball game!
We had the radar gun out at pitching practice earlier this week. My 13 year old daughter is topping out at 63 mph. Danielle Lawrie, who throws for the University of Washington Huskies, is her favorite pitcher right now. We got to see Danielle pitch twice last season -- once in a good victory over Stanford in Seattle, and once when the Canadian National Team was in training. She's a great role model for the younger Canadian pitchers!
Wow! That's awesome. Your 13 year old daughter must have a great arm. Does she play a lot? I'll have to keep my eye out for Danielle Lawrie, but she sounds like a great player and a good role model. I haven't been involved or in the know really about softball since I stopped playing in high school. It is a great sport though. I'm excited to learn more about it and how it's developed over the years.
At 6'1", she's the real deal. A Provincial Championship and a medal at National Championship are the goals for this season. She was hitting 52 mph when she was U12, 58 when she was U13. She is also the first player ever to hit a Grand Slam homerun in the Little League Softball World Series (Canada vs Oregon in 2006). She put the ball well over the 209' fence on the main diamond at Alpenrose Park in Portland.
Anyway, good coaching and hard work payoff. We are in the gym 3 to 4 days a week right now, preparing for the upcoming season. Maybe we'll see you at the diamond...
Wow. That's cool. I would love to hit a homerun over the fence. It sounds silly, but it's one of those things I've always wanted to do. That's great though. Good for her. How does she train?
The team begins training in the fall. Right now, they are doing core and strength training twice a week. Piitchers are throwing 3/4 days a week. Team practice is once a week, and optional hitting and defence is twice a week. It's a pretty busy schedule, particularly when most of the players are invilved in other high level sports or activities. But of course, when you set a goal, you have to work hard to achieve it!
Yeah that is definitely a lot, but you are right about having to work hard to achieve your goals. Does she play any other sports? I remember having a similar schedule for soccer, but as it turned out, I ended up deciding to play lacrosse in college.
She also plays soccer, but not at the top level.
Lacrosse is huge here. Many boys and young men play, and there is a growing number of girls playing. My buddy Mike Simpson was the first head coach of the Minnesota Lacrosse Team in the NLL a few years back. That was after leading the Victoria Shamrocks to a Mann Cup title in 1997 as Captain of the team.
Where did you play your lacrosse?