Pitch speeds in the WCWS

Ask anyone what kind of speed you need to pitch in Division 1 college softball and the answer is sure to be “mid-60s.” (Of course some people think that’s also a typical speed for a 12 year old, but that’s a story for another day.)

As I’ve been watching the Regionals, Super Regionals and Women’s College World Series this year, though, I’m noticing a different trend. I’ve been seeing more pitchers throwing consistently in the mid-to-high 50s. Case in point: tonight’s game with Alabama and ASU. The ASU pitcher fit the mold — her pitches were mostly 62 to 66 mph. But the ‘Bama pitcher was more in the 55-59 mph range. Yes, ASU went on to win the game, but it was on what looked to me to be a foul ball. Up until the seventh, they were held scoreless.

Not sure exactly what to make of all of this. Maybe it’s tough to get those tall California girls who throw in the 60s to go to Alabama. But I’ve seen other teams where that’s the case as well. Perhaps it points out that movement really is more important that speed as everyone likes to say. It may also point out that D1 coaches are starting to believe it too.

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