The Sports Science Behind Hitting a Softball Versus Hitting a Baseball
February 27, 2017
< 1 min
Anyone who has played on the diamond before has heard or even said that hitting a baseball is the hardest thing to do in sports. Well, John Brenkus and the Sport Science crew just may think that hitting a softball is harder, and they have the evidence that shows it.
Studying the movement and physiology of Danielle Lawrie, Sport Science compares a 70 mph fastball to a 90 mph baseball pitch. On average, a baseball is released approximately 55 feet from home plate, resulting in a reaction time of .44 seconds for the hitter. By comparison, a 70 mph softball, released from an average distance of 37 feet from the plate, will result in 0.35 seconds of reaction time for the batter.
In other words, a softball batter has 20% less time to react to a pitch than a baseball batter.
Furthermore, gravity works in baseball players’ favors, as baseball pitches must follow a downward trajectory. This gives hitters the opportunity to adjust by dropping their hands.
A softball pitch, by contrast, is almost always rising after exiting from pitcher’s release. This means that hitters have to fight gravity and in less time.
We’re gonna agree with technology of the Sport Science team and say that hitting a softball is harder than hitting a baseball.
See also Jennie Finch strike out Major League All-Star Albert Pujols.