By Brittany Shaw |Staff Writer|
The old saying goes “you play ball like a girl,” but maybe it’s not such a bad thing.
To the naked eye it looks like softball pitchers are more durable than baseball pitchers.
Softball pitchers are able to pitch games on back to back days or even multiple games in a day.
Softball has more of a natural underhand throw; the pitchers go over their head and back around kind of like they are bowling.
Baseball pitchers go over the top of their head with their pitching arm and down with the snap of their wrist, which is very bad on your shoulder and elbow.
Although softball is bad on the shoulder as well, it’s a more natural pitching style than baseball.
Softball and baseball have so much in common that it seems so natural to think that they are the same, but looking deeper into the heart of it will show you just how different it truly is.
But the biggest thing that makes these two similar sports so different is the way the ball is delivered.
Differences lie in many areas such as field size, bat differences, differences in innings, and many more. The area that is most different though is the pitching.
When looking at the differences between pitching we find the most obvious first, the size of the ball is different. A softball is much bigger and softer than a baseball.
Pitching areas are different as well. Baseball has a pitching mound that is raised above the playing field that the pitcher throws from while softball pitchers pitch at a level ground.
The distance is also different from the pitching area to home plate.
Softball pitchers deliver the ball in an underhand motion; while baseball pitchers throw overhand or even a side armed motion if they choose.
The overhand motion is extremely hard on the baseball players elbow and shoulder while the softball pitcher does not have this same problem because of the more natural underhand motion.
“A world class female pitcher who throws a 68 mph pitch released at 38 ft. would allow the hitter .381 of a second to react, which equates to a 95 MPH pitch in baseball,” said Dave Paetkau, a hitting coach with the Canadian Women’s National Softball team.
In baseball, pitchers don’t pitch two nights in a row because the act of starting a game and pitching the standard 5-8 innings, is extremely straining on their arm.
Most starting pitchers don’t pitch two nights in a row because it’s very dangerous to the arm, and that would make them ineffective in the second game.
Tommy John was a former left handed pitcher in Major League Baseball. He was the first one to have ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery, an operation that was later named after him.
After this surgery John came back stronger than ever. With recent medical advancements, when a player has this surgery it does not mean that their career is over, in fact sometimes it means that they will come back stronger..
Tommy John is replacing a ligament in the medial elbow with a tendon from somewhere else in your body.
While softball pitchers are not as injury-prone as baseball pitchers, they can still suffer overuse injuries if the proper precautions are not taken.
Softball pitchers are rarely switched out in the middle of the game. Usually they are expected to pitch every inning, which can be very harmful to their arm.