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Discussion: Should A Softball Batter Hit Up The Middle And Possibly Endanger A Pitcher?

Posted Discussion
Aug. 27, 2007
Martin Diano
5 posts
Should A Softball Batter Hit Up The Middle And Possibly Endanger A Pitcher?
Should A Softball Batter Hit Up The Middle And Possibly Endanger A Pitcher?:

A discussion among senior softball players seems to be raging on this topic. At issue are the so-called hot bats and livelier balls. Both have undergone vast technological improvements. Add to the mix the fact that senior players are stronger and in better shape than ever before and, some say, that's a recipe very dangerous the those of you who pitch. Despite the overall better conditioning of today's senior athlete, slower reflexes and reduced eyesight need to be considered in this debate.

Many suggestions like using a pitchers cage and adding an eleventh player are being offered up as possible ways to limit the potential risk to the pitcher.

The National Senior Softball Forum is undertaking a national poll from which you can make your voice heard. The poll results will be posted on this message board upon completion.

To enter you vote, go to www.nationalseniorsoftballforum.com
Aug. 27, 2007
southpaw
Men's 60
729 posts
Hey folks, I am certainly no authority on the subject, but I have been pitching softball for 30 years. What I have learned over the years in my opinion is that there is a great difference between hitting up the middle and hitting at the pitcher. I believe I have also learned that more times than not it is obvious when someone is intentionally trying to inflict harm. What I have often seen is that batter is usually a bit of a hothead, has a bit of an ego problem, and thinks that when he doesn't "get his pitch" that entitles him to retaliate. Those hits are usually dead on the pitcher, between chest and knees.
I only play in AA senior ball, and it does not seem to be a serious problem, at least down South. I do not know what the answer is in total, but I am not in favor of a net in front of the pitcher. I see many more problems and chances for injury there.
Recently, playing in a youngsters game, a strapping young fellow blasted one dead at me. On first, he mouthed off that "if I throw it outside again, he would hit at me again." My revenge: I struck him out the next time, got him to pop up his third time, and then burned him in right field my last time at bat. There are ways to even things without altering the game! Thanks for letting me speak my old feeble mind.
Aug. 27, 2007
Airbosn
Men's 65
319 posts
As a pitcher it has always been my choice to wear protective equipment such as a head gear with faceshield, cup and shin guards, etc. I choose not to.
I have run an over 30 outlaw league for 15 years where all bats are legal including "Fixed Bats". However no Ti's.
Having played 3 homer and than out I have experienced no problems with the middle. The few injuies that have occurred come from come from running contact and sliding.
Aug. 27, 2007
Duke
Men's 60
698 posts
No batter should intentionally hit the pitcher. When batters try to hit a ball between pitcher and 2B, he sometimes hits the ball to 2B and sometimes to pitcher. Our relexes are slowing down and it is more difficult at night to see a ball. In any event, a poor fielding and aging senior is going to get hit regardless of what bat is used. A good fielding pitcher is going to take advantage of what you are suggesting. In Burbank they play with an idiot 6 foot wide chalk line in the pitching area. Any ball that is hit there and was in the reach of the pitcher is an out, whether the pitcher is there or ducking out of the way, or hiding. I find this to be a huge advantage to me. As soon as I pitch, I vacate the pitching area to cover another area. Who needs an eleventh man, you just created an imaginary one. KInd like that movie with Angels in the the outfield. LOL!
Aug. 27, 2007
SouthernLeather
22 posts
No nets, no 11th player. Play the game.....

I pitch, and yes I have taken some shots....but you have to field the position....if you can't, it's time to become the catcher....

On the 0/0 count some prefer, that's too much advantage for the hitter. First there's a mat, so you can't work the umpire, it hits the mat or it doesn't.

Second, the big hitters all start way outside the box so there is little plate/mat to work with....

The hitters have all the advantages, providing a 1/1 count helps level the field so a guy can't just sit on a pitch.

The 1/1 count with no foul is fine.
Aug. 27, 2007
Duke
Men's 60
698 posts
Absolutely 100% correct answer SouthernLeather.
Aug. 27, 2007
T-44
9 posts
As a pitcher on mens 60s i have to agree with southpaw. Hitters check your ego at home. Its still a game and we are a lucky bunch that can still play. In my six years of playing at this level, I have only seen parts of two teams that didn't care about the opposing pitcher. We wouldn't have senior softball without all the good people who play the game.
Aug. 28, 2007
idahoreb
Men's 50
47 posts
How about a team going up the middle when they know it is dangerous for the pitcher. Played in a tournament last weekend where a major/plus team took shots up the middle by the pitcher when they knew the sun was directly in the pitchers face and he couldn't see the ball. Play was actually suspended for 45 minutes right after the 2 shots up the middle. What gives these guys the right to endanger another player? They had no conscious about what could have happened to the pitcher. Win at any cost and to hell with the "little guys" on non Major/Plus teams.
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