With the NCAA College Softball World Series going on this week, I decided I'd write an article about softball vs. baseball. I've played softball since I was five-years-old, so saying this article isn't biased is wrong. But, I think there is a certain level of sexism that prevents people from watching softball because it has the stereotype of being boring and stupid because it has a bunch of girls. I'm here to tell you all the things that make softball interesting, especially more than baseball.
1. The game moves at a much faster pace.
The games are shorter, only seven innings compared to nine, meaning that all the action happens within a short amount of time. With softball, everything is moved up on the field as the distance is shorter than with baseball. Therefore, there is half as much time to react and make a play before the runner has made it to the base.
2. Hitting is more difficult for a softball batter.
For hitters, it's hard to hit all the different pitches of a softball pitcher. The best pitchers throw from 65 mph-70mph. The changes in speed range from 10-15 mph and go from being an off-speed curve ball or a change-up that drops. It's almost impossible to hit when you're expecting that 65 mph screwball. The mound is only 43 ft away from the batter. Along with this, it has been scientifically proven that the reaction time for a softball batter is less than baseball. This makes it extremely hard for the batter to hit the ball and put it into play.
3. There are batters called slappers.
When a girl is considered fast, she is turned into a left-handed batter that slaps. It's harder than a bunt but softer than a real hit. The ball is sort of dribbled into the infield or through it in the hopes of beating out the infielder's throw. Most of the time, if they're fast enough, they can just make contact and be safe at 1st. It's hard to get these players out which is why I think this makes the game more interesting than baseball, which doesn't have slappers.
4. The ball is coming up instead of down.
Since the pitching is underhand, the ball comes out of the hand differently than with baseball. Especially with this pitch called the rise-ball, the ball jumps from the plane of hitting to above the batter's hands and bat. It is basically impossible to hit a rise-ball, the movement being "nasty" as some people call it.
Overall, everyone has their different opinions on the two sports. In high school, our baseball and softball team always feuded over this subject. To me, watching softball has always been better than baseball because it's not boring. How it's harder to hit a softball is more interesting to me than baseball.