SOFTBALL Twenty-Five Years of Fast-Pitch . Isn’t Enough, Enough??? Published Thursday, March 24th, 2023.
Another Run-Rule win for our girls Wednesday in Ludlow, 18-3 in three innings.
This is our third Run Rule game in five outings. Yesterday, there were 33 run-rule fast pitch softball played at the varsity level, and this happens on a daily basis. Over the past five seasons that were played, we have been involved in 68 run-rule contests. I’m sure you could argue that the same happens in Baseball as well, (45 over the same time span) but baseball is the generally accepted National Pastime. Our boys want to play baseball and teams for the most part win or lose games. Yes, a dominant baseball pitcher certainly influences the outcome, but it is the exception rather than the rule. The same pitcher doesn’t pitch all 30-35 of a team’s games.
Fast-pitch softball games are won for the most part by the team with the superior pitcher. Many more factors enter into the outcome of slow pitch games, and a good defensive team, not just a single player, overwhelmingly determines the winner. Slow pitch softball remains wildly popular among 20 and 30 something year old men. Even in our Alumni Tournament here at Brossart we play slow-pitch softball.
Fast-Pitch softball was forced on our girls. From the time that softball became a girls varsity sport (21 Seasons) it was Slow Pitch, until a single parent sued the KHSAA in the late 90s because the colleges and universities of the Commonwealth played fast-pitch and offered fast-pitch scholarships. Up to that time a myriad of slow-pitch high school graduates were able to make the seamless transition from one sport to the other, but here 25 years later, the fast-pitch tail is still wagging the softball dog, to the detriment of all 200 some girls teams who play fast-pitch softball. I would think a consortium of schools, Board of Control Members, Coaches, and Parents would finally sit down and re-sanction slow pitch softball and restore sanity. I guarantee you that more schools would field teams, and the kids who are good enough to receive College schollys would do just fine playing fast-pitch at the next level. Take off the masks and protective gear and get back to enjoying, watching and playing softball as it was meant to be. I’m thinking that those of you who grew up playing slow pitch softball will agree with me.
I am not so foolish as to think that we will see slow-pitch sanctioned softball in my lifetime. In doing my homework for writing this opinion, I did notice that hitters seem to be putting the ball in play at a greater frequency than back in its inceptional days. Perhaps the pitchers today don’t resemble Eddie Feinger, of the King and His Court fame (Look him up), as they once did, but however played, slow-pitch will always remain the more pure sport.
A great statement against Fast-Pitch softball, is that throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s there was great softball played at the St. Joe Ballfield in Cold Spring. Today there is a shelter house and picnic area and no softball leagues ply their trades there. Fast-Pitch softball has limited the overall interest in, and the popularity of the sport. Too Bad.