Last updated on August 13, 2023
Softball is a popular sport that has been around for over a century. One of the key aspects of the game is the pitch, which is thrown underhand and can reach impressive speeds. In fact, some of the fastest softball pitches ever recorded have been compared to the speed of a major league baseball pitch.
The current Guinness World Record for the fastest softball pitch is held by Monica Abbott, who threw a pitch at 77 miles per hour in a National Pro Fastpitch game in 2012. However, there have been claims of faster pitches that were not officially recognized by Guinness.
Fastest Softball Pitch Ever
The fastest softball pitch ever recorded is 77 miles per hour (124 km/h), thrown by Monica Abbott. She did so during a National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) game in the United States on June 16, 2012. Abbott, an American softball pitcher, is considered one of the best pitchers in the world and has been a member of the United States women’s national softball team since 2005. She has won numerous awards and accolades throughout her career, including being named the USA Softball National Player of the Year in 2007 and 2010.
A freshman pitcher from the University Of Tennessee, Karlyn Pickens, is right on her heels. She was clocked at 76 miles per hour in the 2023 Women’s College World Series. Being that close to the world record as a freshman in college, has many keeping their eye on her. With some growth and more training, she could not only put the record behind her; but some distance between her and Monica Abbott’s previous record as well.
Understanding Pitch Speed
In softball, pitch speed plays a crucial role in the game. According to a Washington Post article, the average pitch speed for a fastpitch softball is around 60-65 mph. Pitch speed is affected by various factors such as the pitcher’s technique, strength, and the type of pitch thrown. For example, a changeup pitch is thrown slower than a fastball, making it more challenging for the batter to time the hit. The release point of the pitch also plays a crucial role in determining the speed of the pitch.
Training for Softball Pitching
To become a great softball pitcher, you need to focus on developing your pitching technique, building strength, and practicing regularly. One of the greatest softball pitchers of all time, Cat Osterman, emphasizes the importance of proper mechanics and consistency in training. She recommends working with a coach who can help you identify areas for improvement and develop a personalized training plan.
Strength training is also crucial for softball pitchers, as it helps improve overall body control and power. Sydney Romero, a former softball player for the University of Oklahoma, suggests incorporating exercises like squats, deadlifts, and lunges into your training routine to build lower body strength.
In addition to strength training, there are specific drills and exercises that can help improve your pitching accuracy and speed. Remember to practice regularly and stay mentally tough, as pitching can be a mentally challenging position. With consistent training and dedication, you can improve your pitching skills and become a great softball pitcher.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the fastest softball pitch ever thrown by a man?
The fastest softball pitch ever thrown by a man is 104 mph (167.4 km/h), thrown by Eddie “The King” Feigner of “The King and His Court” in 1959. However, this pitch was never confirmed. Additionally, the ball used for this pitch was much closer to a current day baseball than a current day softball.
What is 73 mph in softball compared to baseball?
A 73 mph softball pitch is equivalent to a 95 mph baseball pitch, due to the shorter distance between the pitcher’s mound and home plate in softball.
How fast is Jennie Finch’s fastball?
Jennie Finch’s fastball has been recorded at speeds up to 72 mph. Her average fastball, however, came in around 68 mph.
Softball’s allure is deeply embedded in the raw power and finesse displayed by its athletes, particularly in pitching. Monica Abbott’s formidable record of a 77 mph pitch remains a benchmark in the sport, but young talents like Karlyn Pickens are hot on its trail. With Pickens already brushing close to the world record in her freshman year, the anticipation of what the future holds for her and the sport is palpable.
In conclusion, softball, through its evolving pitch speeds and prodigious talents, continues to captivate and inspire. It’s not merely about physical prowess but also the strategy, technique, and dedication players bring to the game. As we celebrate the legends and eagerly watch rising stars, the sport stands as a testament to the limitless potential of human achievement.
Hunter Tierney is a passionate writer, loving dad, and true sports fanatic. His experience helping his two daughters through softball, in addition to playing baseball at the collegiate level, gives him a fresh perspective on all things softball. He earned his business degree from the University of Phoenix where he also took writing and journalism courses.