2.55 milliseconds Caitlin Lowe, the leadoff batter for the United States Olympic team, is often regarded as the quickest softball player in the world. According to her coaches on the US squad, Lowe, a left-handed slap hitter like Rogers, has been clocked at 2.55 seconds from home to first. That's faster than the official time of 3.03 seconds awarded by the International Softball Federation.
Lowe made the comment during an interview with ESPN before the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. She said she was able to reach first base in 2.55 seconds because she uses half the distance to get to the ball out of the yardage box and then takes advantage of the fact that it takes her so long to get ready for the next pitch.
In 2007, she led the University of Texas to its second consecutive national championship. That same year, she was named the American League MVP after hitting.471 with 13 homers and 76 RBIs in just 43 games. The Washington Nationals selected her with the third pick in the 2006 MLB draft. She's currently playing second base for the US team in Beijing.
The fastest time from home to first base has been recorded several times by researchers from the University of Houston. In 2001, they managed to reduce the time to 1.94 seconds using radar technology to measure the speed of baseballs as they're being pitched. Their research was published in the journal Science.
College softball and international competition both employ the quick pitch method. Pitchers use an underhand action to throw the ball at speeds of up to 77 miles per hour (124 km/h) for women and 105 miles per hour (169 km/h) for men. Fastpitch softball pitching differs from slowpitch softball pitching. While fastpitch pitchers aim for speed, slowpitch pitchers try to create more movement on their pitches by throwing with more bend in their arms.
In college softball, game speeds range from 60-65 miles per hour (97-105 km/h). Women's Olympic baseball is played at 100 miles per hour (160 km/h). Men's international baseball is played at 115-125 miles per hour (185-200 km/h).
In professional softball, the average game speed is 85 miles per hour (138 km/h). In the Major Leagues, games can go as fast as 95 miles per hour (153 km/h) with two-hour time limits in place. Three-hour games are common in the Minors.
In the Olympics, women's baseball is played at 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) and women's softball is played at 120 miles per hour (193 km/h). Men's baseball is played at 130 miles per hour (209 km/h) and men's softball at 140 miles per hour (225 km/h).
Pitching is the most important aspect in fastpitch softball. Pitchers may throw the ball at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour, as well as drop, riser, curve, and changeups. A fastball that achieves 70 mph and is launched from 46 feet translates to a baseball thrown at more than 90 mph. This is extremely difficult for most pitchers to do consistently.
An average fastpitch softball game lasts about six or seven hours. In an entire season, each team will play around 30 games, with each game being worth one win or loss. The winner is determined by who has the most wins at the end of the season.
There are two types of fastpitch softball games: regular season and playoffs. In regular season games, which include all non-disqualifying events such as home-and-away series, there is no specified length for each game. It can last from five minutes to seven hours. During this time, the pitcher throws one or more pitches every time the batter takes a plate. A full count means that only one more pitch can be thrown before the batter reaches base or strikes out. A half count allows for two more pitches to be thrown before reaching base or striking out. If the batter does not reach base during his turn at bat, the pitcher gets another chance when the next player comes up.
In addition to regular season games, there are three other types of games in fastpitch softball.
Softball is not just a speedier game, but hitting is also more difficult. So, a 70-mph fastball on a softball field offers you around 55% less time to decide than a 100-mph fastball on a baseball field. This means that even though it's harder to hit the ball with velocity, runners can use this advantage to their benefit.
A baseball travels about 75 feet per second (22 mps), while a softball sails by at about 85 feet per second (25 mps). To put this in context, a sprinter can reach speeds of up to 50 mps during a sprint race and a marathoner typically covers the distance between cities over land in about four hours. Baseballs are heavier than softballs so they travel slower. But because speed affects both offense and defense, they operate under similar conditions on the field.
As for why there are different sizes of balls: During games players use balls that are about 1 inch in diameter because they're easy to handle. Softballs used in practice sessions and tournaments are usually larger because more surface area means more friction against your hand as well as better control. Balls used in indoor batting cages are usually smaller yet because there's no wind resistance when they're being swung at high speeds.
The test methodology asks the athlete to hit five line drives into a net with their game bat off a batting tee. The bat speed is measured in miles per hour. High school softball bat speeds average around 55 mph, whereas NCAA softball bat speeds average around 70 mph. A higher number means better bat speed.
The most common question we get asked about bat speed is "What is a good bat speed for baseball?" Well, that depends on what you are trying to do on the baseball field. If you want to beat out grounders, then your bat speed should be high. If you want to drive the ball, especially with men on base, then your bat needs to have some life in it. Either way, around 70 mph would be ideal.
There are two ways to improve your bat speed: practice and use technology. Machine pitching has made it easier than ever before to replicate pitcher's pitches, so coaches can work with you one-on-one to teach you how to master different swing techniques in order to produce more power. Some of these methods include: through-the-zone training, side-to-side training, internal footwork drills, and more.
Batting helmets have become popular over the past few years due to their ability to limit brain injury when you hit the ball hard.
In fastpitch softball, the first batter is frequently a swift left-handed batter who can bunt or slap bunt his way to first base. If your club lacks such a player, the lead-off batter is the one with the highest on-base percentage numbers. He will usually be given the green light by the coach after one or two pitches from the catcher.
The first batter in softball is called the "lead-off man." This person starts the game with a bang by taking a pitch, then walking or being awarded free passes based on how many balls he has seen during the inning. The lead-off man is often named after a favorite baseball player. For example, if the player was Joe DiMaggio, then the lead-off man's name would be Joe D. .
After the lead-off man reaches first base, the next hitter comes up. This person is called upon to get on base so that there are men available to score when the pitcher throws the ball. If the next player doesn't get a hit, then the batting order gets shuffled and the process begins again.
In short, the first batter gets a chance to put pressure on the pitcher with a walk or an award of free passes. This sends a message to the pitcher that he needs to keep him off balance by throwing different pitches.