Baseball vs. Softball

The Gender Rivalry


Leandro Orue/Danielle Thompson

Jamison Amerine, Sports Editor

There’s nothing that can spark a more intense competition than a gender rivalry. As a young man myself, I know it would kill me if one of the opposite sex beat me in a game of one-on-one, no matter if they were a Division I commit or a non-athletic basketball enthusiasts.

It’s hard to give a simple explanation of why it bothers men so much to lose to women in any activity in general. Is it that men are just so much more competitive than women? Or is it more that we, as guys, feel like we should be the superior gender when it comes to athletics and/or competitions?

It’s probably a healthy mixture of the two, and this gender rivalry lies in the sports of baseball and softball. Both have the same generic standards, with an objective to hit a ball coming to the plate and running the bases to potentially score runs.

So why are the two viewed so differently? Besides the obvious difference of the genders who play, the two have other characteristics that contrast from one another, everything from the pitching styles to the field measurements. Let’s take a look:

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Kurt Allen – Baseball (Senior):

What in your opinion is a difficult aspect of baseball that softball players may not realize? Why?

The difficulty of the bigger field, so longer throws, and the size differences in the balls.

Why do you feel baseball is a more popular sport than softball?

I feel like baseball has more enthusiasm and it’s easier to watch than softball.

Do you think baseball players could succeed with softball-style pitching? What about softball players with baseball style pitching?

I think baseball players would be able to adjust to a softball style throwing, but i [also] think softball players could adjust to baseball pitching too. It’s all about picking up the ball out of [the pitcher’s] hand.

What is the hardest baseball pitch to hit and why?

The hardest pitch to hit would probably be a slider or a cutter, because it’s almost as fast as a fastball but it also moves at the very end like a curve ball.

Will we ever see a woman in the Major Leagues? Why or why not?

I think we could see a girl in the majors but she would have to make a big adjustment to baseball instead of softball.


Kara Bramhall – Softball (Senior):

What in your opinion is a difficult aspect of softball the baseball players may not realize? Why?

Softball is more compact and more high speed and intense. Because of this and a difference in rules, things like stealing bases is more difficult and requires more skill. Softball players can’t leave the base until the pitchers have released the ball, but in baseball, players can take a lead off at any time.

Why do you feel softball is not as popular of a sport as baseball?

I feel like softball is more popular than people realize and it’s definitely on the come up. The amount of professional teams in the US has gone up tremendously in the past years. There’s actually a team based in Dallas, but I bet hardly anyone is aware. Softball will never be as popular or as big of a money maker as baseball because of gender. Men’s sports are just more popular.

Do you think baseball players could succeed with softball-style pitching? What about softball players with baseball style pitching?

Softball pitching is underhand and baseball pitching is overhand. Underhand pitching allows for more and different movement than baseball. The biggest difference is that softball has a rise ball. It’s actually been tested before if baseball players can hit softball pitching. Years ago Olympic pitcher Jennie Finch threw to some major league players and Derek Jeter was the only one who even touched the ball. Softball may throw slower than baseball but these days girls are throwing faster than ever and the reaction time to hit is of course decreasing.

What is the hardest softball pitch to hit and why?

Like I previously talked about, the rise ball is probably the most difficult pitch to hit if a pitcher can throw it correctly. A true rise ball will come in flat, then break at the last minute and rise to the batter’s chest or higher. When thrown properly, it is almost impossible to hit.

Will we ever see a woman in the Major Leagues? Why or why not?

I don’t know if we’ll ever see a woman in the majors. It wouldn’t be a softball player though. There are some girls that play baseball as we’ve seen in the little league World Series that can hang with the boys. But I don’t know if a girl would ever make it to the majors. Those are some really big guys and size and power wise I don’t think a girl could match up. However, it would definitely be an interesting sight.

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